The weakest point in Little Red Riding Hood is arguably Little Red's inability to spot the wolf in grandma's clothing, so to speak. Not so in Woollvin's savvy rendition. Few details change in the story itself, but the tone, strategic page turns, and clever illustrations inject some welcome humor and intelligence into this classic tale. Using a palette of only black, white, and red, Woollvin sends Little Red into the woods, where she is soon stopped by a hulking wolf—"Which might have scared some little girls. But not this little girl." Unfazed by the encounter, she continues to Grandma's, where things get a refreshing twist. Noticing the door is ajar, the girl peeks through the window and sees "a badly disguised wolf waiting in Grandma's bed!" Not to worry. Little Red is one tough cookie, and she has a plan. And an axe. Spare illustrations zoom in on Little Red's calculating gaze and diffuse the story's usual tension with subtle humor. A smart, empowering retelling suitable for storytimes. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
Several recent versions of Little Red Riding Hood have reimagined its gentle basket-carrier as a caped heroine with attitude, and British newcomer Woollvin's retelling follows suit. The text and artwork are smart and economical: thickly stroked trees create a sense of goofy comedy, and a stripped-down palette of black, white, and soft gray makes Little Red's vermilion cape and boots stand out with exclamatory force. The wolf's feathery tail and sharklike snout loom, but his demand to know where Little Red is going doesn't faze her. It "might have scared some little girls," Woollvin writes, in a phrase repeated throughout, "but not this little girl." A droll close-up of the wolf's head shows a dinner plate with Little Red and Grandma in his brain space, a fork and knife on either side. At Grandma's, Little Red sees through the wolf's disguise. There's a hatchet in a stump outside, and another tight close-up shows Little Red's eyes shifting to the right. With a page turn and no further explanation, Little Red returns home wearing a wolf suit and a toothy grin. It's fairy tale revenge that leaves the details to readers' imaginations. Ages 5–9. (Apr.) [Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLCReview by School Library Journal Reviews
K-Gr 2—Little Red is one tough cookie. When a menacing wolf blocks the path to her grandmother's house, she looks him in the eye, answers his questions, and continues on her journey. The wolf "might have scared some little girls. But not this little girl." This phrase is repeated throughout the story. Woollvin's street-smart character cannot be fooled by the wolf, even when he dresses up as her grandma. Little Red "wasn't fooled for a minute." The familiar phrases of "Oh, Grandma! What big ears you have" and "What big ears and teeth you have" are included in this story, but the little girl doesn't wait for a woodsman to save her. She dispatches the wolf herself with an axe that she carries into the cabin. The dark humor continues to the end when readers see Little Red journeying home not in her red cape but in a shaggy wolfskin. The gouache and digital illustrations were made with black, gray, and red only. The close-ups of the wolf's face and Little Red's eyes add a sense of fright to the story. There is no bloodshed on the pages, but easily scared children might not like a couple of the illustrations. VERDICT This is how fairy tales were meant to be told.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada [Page 123]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"On her way to Grandma's house, Little Red meets a wolf. Which might scare some little girls. But not this little girl. She knows just what the wolf is up to, and she's not going to let him get away with it"--Review by Publisher Summary 2
Meeting a wolf while traveling to Grandma's house, a brave Little Red Riding Hood, recognizing that the wolf is up to mischief, humorously foils his plans. A first picture book.Review by Publisher Summary 3
On her way to Grandma's house, Little Red meets a wolf, but she's not scared because she knows just what the wolf is up to and she's not going to let him get away with it.Review by Publisher Summary 4
The big bad wolf has a plan…but so does Little Red!On her way to Grandma’s house, Little Red meets a wolf. Which might scare some little girls. But not this little girl. She knows just what the wolf is up to, and she’s not going to let him get away with it.In this updated fairy tale with a mischievous twist, talented newcomer Bethan Woollvin uses sly humor, striking visuals, and dark irreverence to turn a familiar tale on its head.Review by Publisher Summary 5
In this New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book, girl power abounds as Little Red unravels the big bad wolf's plan.On her way to Grandma's house, Little Red meets a wolf. That might scare some little girls, but not this little girl. She knows just what the wolf is up to, and she's not going to let him get away with it!In this modern picture book update to "Little Red Riding Hood," author-illustrator Bethan Woollvin uses sly humor, striking visuals, and a bit of ingenuity to turn a familiar tale on its head. Perfect for mighty feminists and young readers who love fairy tales.