THE LITTLE RED HEN by Margot--Adapt. & Illus. Zemach


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Now who are those three idlers playing cards on the jacket, cold-shouldering the energetic little red hen? The interior illustrations have somewhat less concentrated drama and implication--for one thing, Zemach adopts a blurry wash for flowers, trees, and other plant elements that tends to make the compositions fall apart. The fuzziness also enfeebles the little red hen's wheat plants. So, all in all, her labors in growing and harvesting the wheat don't have as much dramatic weight (or conviction), as the refusal by the lazy goose, cat, and pig to help her. Nonetheless, the book is worth having for an important picture-book reason: the interest and fun of seeing a fresh, animated, strongly characterized depiction of a classic nursery tale--not so different from a fresh interpretation of a traditional song or a standard role.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux