Little Red Hood

Marjolaine Leray, Author, Marjolaine Leray, Illustrator, Sarah Ardizzone, Translator
Marjolaine Leray, trans. from the French by Sarah Ardizzone. Phoenix Yard (IPG/Trafalgar Square, dist.), $12.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-907912-00-9
Reviewed on: 04/22/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
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The macabre humor of this small-format retelling will likely divide readers: some will find it hilarious, while others will be shocked. French artist Leray draws the wolf and Little Red Hood with jagged strokes on blank white pages, alongside scrawled cursive text. The wolf, with a crazed stare and a snout as toothy as an alligator’s, dispenses with the grandmother ruse—he just snatches the girl and takes her home. “Dinner is served!” he cries, standing her up on his table. Little Red Hood’s tiny nose and red smudge of a cape convey cool composure. “You’re ever so hairy,” she tells the wolf, then doubles down: “You’ve got stinky breath.” “I do?” he says, eyes wide. She offers him a candy (“Um... thanks”), he swallows it, then clutches his throat in agony as red poison spreads down his throat. A page turn, and he topples over dead, covered in red. “Fool!” she says. No brave hunter-rescuers for this Riding Hood, it’s vigilante justice all the way. The fainthearted may recoil, but those who scorn sugarcoated endings will be delighted. Ages 5–up. (June)
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