cover image Redlocks and the Three Bears

Redlocks and the Three Bears

Claudia Rueda. Chronicle, $16.99 (52p) ISBN 978-1-4521-7031-2

The red cloak–clad child at the Three Bears’ door isn’t the usual suspect: it’s Little Red, escaped from “the book next door” to ask for help. Narrator Baby Bear persuades his folks to let her stay (“Not sure if that’s how the story goes, they said, but... Ok”), and Red proceeds to make herself at home—devouring her young host’s porridge and breaking the smallest chair—just like a certain other protagonist. When the wolf from Little Red’s tale appears and sends everyone fleeing to a book occupied by the Three Little Pigs, Baby Bear discovers that the villain is ready to reform (“Nobody likes to have wolves in their books,” the wolf sobs) and successfully forges a détente between the wolf and Red, sending them back to their own story with a recipe for porridge. This is not one of those meta-mash-up fairy tales that traffics in big nudges and broad visuals: Rueda’s (Bunny Overboard) understated, matter-of-fact text is set in filigreed frames to evoke the classic fairy tale volume, while her ovoid characters’ shenanigans are rendered in spare, delicately textured colored pencil drawings, making for a first-rate addition to the genre. Ages 3–8. (Nov.)