A small child in a red cape carries a basket through a forest filled with creatures—including an enormous wolf!
This wordless story begins before the title page as the gigantic wolf emerges from the forest to deliver bags holding wrapping paper, ribbons, and party hats to an older woman waiting at the door of a cabin. Alexander’s detailed black-and-white illustrations convey the textures of bark, fur, mushrooms, clothing, and the wolf’s huge bushy tail, which extends past several trees at once. Shades of red and pink, the only colors against black, white, and gray, draw the eye. The girl, in red hoodie and black boots, looks intrepid as she enters the forest. (The girl and her grandmother are shown with dark hair and light, but not white, skin.) The wolf strategically blocks Red’s view as a skunk tiptoes through the trees with a red-ribboned package and a pair of red foxes pass by with bouquets of red balloons. As the little girl catches sight of a bird with a pink streamer, two rabbits sneak by with a cake, frosted in pink. The surprise that awaits the child at her grandmother’s house is full of warmth and good cheer, and somehow all the creatures fit into the small space.
A nod to “Little Red Riding Hood,” yes, but also a not-so-scary, sweet treat on its own. (Picture book. 2-5)