From the Publisher
“The fractured fairy tale gets cool Latino flavor in this lively collection of eleven fresh retellings. The lively, fast-paced tellings, the Spanish idiom (there's a glossary at the back) and the dynamic, full-page pictures, several per story, make this great for storytelling collections.” Starred, Booklist
“Eleven tales distinguished by unusually rich humanity and details. This is a delightful debut.” The Horn Book
“Marcantonio's first collection exhibits a strong grasp on narrative and deft...characterizations.” Kirkus Reviews
“Readers will laugh out loud at the witty descriptions that pepper these cleverly reworked stories. Numerous elaborate illustrations ornament the collection, their energetic, fluid lines, and heavy shading emphasizing personality and movement. This short, sparkling book will find a ready fan base.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Alarcao's textured half-tone illustrations play up the drama of each tale.” Publishers Weekly
“The author uses unique styles, settings, and perspectives for each tale, fitting each to the mood. The illustrations integrate seamlessly. Recommended.” VOYA
A handful of titles round up collections of folklore, nursery rhymes and pourquoi tales. Red Ridin' in the Hood: And Other Cuentos by Patricia Santos Marcantonio, illus. by Renato Alarcao, puts a Latin spin on 11 classics, including "Blanca Nieves and the Seven Vacqueritos" (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves) and "El Dia de los Muertos," a retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice, in which Nochehuatl, the Aztec feather-maker, is cast in the male role. Alarcao's textured half-tone illustrations play up the drama of each tale. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Marcantonio achieves her goal of having fairy tales embodied by Latin American characters with this collection, but she does little more than transplant the classic story lines to California, Mexico, and the Southwest in between. Her retellings are not particularly innovative, though she revises some stories more completely to make them contemporary. Her Blanca Nieves is a tough cowgirl who cannot cook for the seven dwarves, but can ride with the best of them. Likewise, "The Sleeping Beauty" gets a make-over as told from the perspective of a disgruntled teenage "witch" who just wants to be invited to the popular kids' party. These character updates are more appealing than the simple translation of some words into Spanish and changing the settings to typically Latino locales. Though the retellings are not always fresh, they are entertainingparticularly for Chicano readers, who will identify most with the Mexican cast. A glossary makes the prose accessible to all readers and Alarcao's scratch board illustrations are a lot of fun and really deserve color to shine as they should. His illustrations add action and emotion to the book and will keep reluctant readers engaged with the characters. 2005, Farrar Straus Giroux, Ages 8 to 12.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-These retellings of classic European folktales with a modern Latino twist are only half-realized, and fall sadly flat. From "Blanca Nieves and the Seven Vaqueritos" to "Juan and the Pinto Bean Stalk" to "Belleza y La Bestia," readers will find leaden prose, obvious and didactically stated morals, and narratives that have no tension, but move like a report of a plot that all readers know. The "cultural twist" affects the names, the food, and the setting. The characters say "se-or" and "adios," but there is nothing "Latino" about the retellings-and none of the import or flavor of the originals. Two exceptions are "The Three Chicharrones," which poses the wolf as land-grabbing developer Dinero Martinez, and "The Sleeping Beauty," in which the princess is a snob and the witch is a misunderstood young lady who wins handsome Pepe's heart. Yet though these exhibit an inventiveness with the story, their language is similarly drab. Alarcao's comical and fanciful illustrations are wasted here. If one must have a Latino version of one of these folktales (and what exactly is the point? It's not as if the various Latino cultures have no rich oral traditions of their own), try Bobbi Salinas's The Three Pigs: Nacho, Tito, and Miguel (Pinata, 1998), which has a storyteller's sensibility.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.