Ernst (Squirrel Park, 1993, etc.) delivers again in this wacky midwestern take on a familiar tale. It's a real scorcher the day Little Red Riding Hood decides to climb on her bike with wheat berry muffins and lemonade for her grandmother: ""You know how crabby she gets in the heat,"" Little Red Riding Hood reminds her mother. True to the original, she tries the shortcut--this time through wheat fields edged with sunflowers--and meets up with the wolf, who seems more interested in the muffins than the girl or Grandma. The ending finds him in business with Grandma at the Muffin Palace. Broad horizons, pale skies, and golden flowers combine with perky line drawings; the final pleasing touch is the muffin recipe.