Rather than walking through the forest with delicious pastries for grandma, this Little Red is a poet with endless rhymes.
In this fractured retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood,” a little girl with light-brown skin and long, black hair is bullied for speaking exclusively in rhyme: “Want to ride the swings with me? / Race our bikes or climb a tree?” The other children find this strange, especially Big Brad Wolf, a light-skinned, chinless boy with blue eyes and a shock of brown hair who takes to teasing the girl known as Little Red Rhyming Hood. She puts on a brave face with lines like: “You don’t bother me, Big Brad / Nasty words won’t make me sad.” In reality, she is affected by his bullying. When Big Brad scares the rhyme right out of Little Red and into him, the two must find a way to work together to write a poem for Little Red’s poetry contest. In Bouloubasis’ bold and bright illustrations, the stylized characters come to life, especially Little Red with her charming personality and tough exterior. This refreshing take on a classic fairy tale touches lightly on the subject of bullying; even though Brad’s quick reformation into a poet seems too good to be true, this is an enjoyable picture book nonetheless.
This endearing fairy-tale retelling will bring joy to literary-themed storytimes. (Picture book. 3-5)