Little Red by Bethan Woollvin

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The story of Little Red Riding Hood has inspired many picture book creators and lately many of them have made her into a heroine who outwits the wolf rather than the more submissive character who learns not to stray from the path. This debut picture book which launches a new imprint from Macmillan publishers reminded me of two other versions where the emphasis is on a feisty little girl, lacking in innocence, who destroys the wolf. Marjolaine Leray’s Little Red Hood, translated from French by Sarah Ardizzone and Rood Rood Roodkapje by Edward van de Vendel and Isabelle Vandenabeele, published in Flemish, translated into French but not translated into English, are both  illustrated only in red, black and white, and end with the demise of the wolf at the hands of Red Riding Hood instead of through the timely intervention of a woodcutter.

Bethan Woollvin continues this new tradition. The story begins in the usual way, with Little Red Riding Hood setting off through the forest to Grandma’s house and encountering the wolf along the way. Little Red is not scared for a moment. Nor is she fooled by his disguise once he has gobbled up Grandma and when she returns home to her mother, she is clothed in a new outfit. The illustrations are bold and striking like Little Red Riding Hood herself and this version will provide lots of discussion with children familiar with a more traditional telling.

For more variants see our booklist A Rash of Red Riding Hoods

Two Hoots 9781447291398