The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and Grandma

Diane Fox and Christyan Fox. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-545-69481-0
In this story-about-a-story, the husband-and-wife Foxes (Tyson the Terrible) draw a bossy, teacher-ish cat and an irrepressible pup arguing their way through a reading of Little Red Riding Hood. “Cool! I love stories about superheroes,” the pup says, imagining that Little Red Riding Hood’s cape is part of a Superman-style outfit. “What’s her special power?” “She doesn’t have any special powers,” says the cat primly. “It’s not that kind of a story.” But the dog is undeterred. “She’s not very bright, is she?” he complains. “I mean, if there were a wolf dressed up as MY Grandma, I might have noticed right away.” Simple line drawings à la Sandra Boynton give the animals adorably large snouts and tiny bodies, while lots of white space and props that come and go give the story a theatrical feel, as if the two were doing improv. There’s plenty of subversive laughter, and a sly turn at the end when the cat’s bloodthirsty account of the climax exposes the dog’s tenderer feelings: “Are you absolutely sure this is a children’s book?” he asks. Ages 4–8. Agent: Marilyn Malin Consultancy. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/02/2014
Release date: 08/26/2014
Genre: Children's
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