Monday, 27 October 2014

Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood : Pictures by Anna Pignataro, story by Charles Perrault, Retold by Margrete Lamond (Little Hare)
ISBN 9 781921 894879
HB $12.95 RRP
Reviewed by Nean McKenzie

Once Upon a Timeless Tale is a series of beautifully presented hardback editions re-telling classic stories including Jack and the Beanstalk, The Ugly Duckling and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Little Red Riding Hood starts with …' in the days when wolves could talk and should have known better …' The familiar story, told with a humorous slant, is accompanied on each page by illustrations, full of colour and character. With a red spine decorated with pictures of delicate dandelion seeds, the book feels nice as well as looking it, inviting the reader inside.

In this series, the illustrators are showcased, with only their name on the front page. Anna Pignataro, Melbourne based illustrator and creator of over fifty children's books, has provided  pictures which deserve this attention. Rosy cheeked Riding Hood skips through colourful pages filled with interesting details that will definitely appeal to young readers and listeners. There's even an illustration of the inside of the wolf's stomach containing poor Grandma and Riding Hood and later on, when the woodcutter has replaced them with stones.

This is the traditional story, with no sugar coating at the end, when it comes to the wolf. Little Red Riding Hood is a bit precocious, but in a good way. The best line in the book comes right at the end.
        "'That should teach you,' said the grandmother,' not to talk to wolves.'
        'That should teach the wolf,' said Red Riding Hood,' not to talk to little girls.'"
        And you can't argue with that logic!

This is a great book to introduce a new generation to a story that will never get old. Recommended for children aged five and above.

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