The Barefoot Book of Mother and Son Tales ) lingers on the darker bits"/>

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD

Josephine Evetts-Secker, Author, Josephine Evetts-Secker, Retold by, Nicoletta Ceccoli, Illustrator , illus. by Nicoletta Ceccoli. Barefoot $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-84148-621-5

In this version of the old story, quiet menace seems to pervade every scene. Evetts-Secker (The Barefoot Book of Mother and Son Tales ) lingers on the darker bits of the tale, dwelling with spooky pleasure on the scene in which the wolf (whose long teal-colored tail and smooth skin seem positively reptilian) lures the girl off the path with the suggestion that she pick flowers for her grandmother: "Little Red Riding Hood gazed to the left, and gazed to the right, then back to the left path, thinking how much she would love to pick flowers." In Ceccoli's (The Faerie's Gift ) dense pastels, the forest itself sways with indecision. Colorful birds swoop through the treetops, but the trees draw back, as if fearing the girl's rash act and its consequences. When Little Red Riding Hood makes her way to grandmother's house, its sunny yellow walls loom over her, phantasmagorically. The famous observations are made ("Oh Grandmother! What big ears you have"), the girl is eaten, and the hunter arrives just in time to cut the wolf open and free its victims. The last page shows grandmother and granddaughter sharing the meal the girl has brought; a reassuring end to an eerie journey. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/02/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
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