cover image Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood

The Brothers Grimm, trans. from the German by Anthea Bell, illus. by Sybille Schenker. Minedition (IPG, dist.), $29.99 (452) ISBN 978-988-8240-79-1

This lush production is a companion to Schenker’s earlier Hansel and Gretel, though it has a slightly different look. Here, Schenker uses die-cuts to add depth and complexity to her black, hand-cut silhouette portraits. Japanese touches, including traditional stencil patterns and binding, give the book a lightness that offsets its dark subject matter. Despite the title, Bell’s fine adaptation uses “Little Red Cap” throughout the text. Little Red Cap appears on plum-colored board whose cutouts suggest the tendrils and leaves of the deep forest. The wolf’s profile is visible through the tangle, but only just. When the page is lifted, Little Red Cap is seen setting off down the path as the wolf looms after her. Delicate, threadlike trees beyond them draw the eye on. More die-cuts provide glimpses through the window of the grandmother’s house, through the lacy curtains around her bed, and, at the climax, into the gaping maw of the wolf. The suspense created by the shadowed, partial views of what is to come deepens the menace of innocence pursued by evil. It’s a remarkable example of the book as art. Ages 5–7. (Nov.)