A (somewhat) kinder, gentler Red Riding Hood with digitally enhanced, atmospheric old illustrations.
Adapted from several unidentified versions (mostly Margaret Hunt’s 1884 translation from the Brothers Grimm), the tale lets Grandmother and Little Red escape being eaten and places the Wolf’s violent demise behind billowing clouds of dust. The audio features an expressive but not overly dramatic reading and a tasty assortment of growls and screams, as well as chirping birds, a working knocker on Grandmother’s door and other background sounds. (All of them, unfortunately, are switched off in silent reading mode.) The classic illustrations (likewise unattributed) from Gustave Doré and several 19th-century contemporaries do not decorate every screen but as spot or full-page art share a common look and a strong sense of drama. Most are further livened up by swaying foliage or flowers, in addition to other small animations. There are also touch-activated sound effects, and falling acorns or flying insects will alter their course to follow a slowly moving fingertip. Viewers can fill Little Red’s playfully skittish basket (with a steaming pie and other wholesome food, not wine as in the original), and color in her cape in several scenes. Though toned down plot-wise and not as feature-rich as the Little Red Riding Hood Interactive Retrobook (2011) this version does preserve that classic look and feel—unlike more cartoony digital renditions or the laughably bad Bad Wolf (2011).
Not definitive, but evocative and reasonably well designed. (iPad storybook app. 6-8)