Elya presents a modern twist on a familiar fairy tale in her signature style using rhyming, predominantly English text that skillfully incorporates Spanish words and phrases.
Red travels through the woods to take hot soup to her sick abuela. Along the way, she is tricked by a sly wolf. Roja must act quickly to rescue Grandma, and then the two devise a technologically enhanced plan to prevent visits from unwelcome predators in the future. The playful illustrations elevate the book, blending a whimsical fairy-tale land with contemporary Latino-American life. In the kitchen, where Mamá watches telenovelas while chopping peppers and garlic, three blind mice scamper about, a pair of mischievous goblins lurk outside the window, and symbols reminiscent of milagros, or prayer charms, rise up in the steam from the clay pot of bean soup. As Red travels through the forest, the birds call out warnings to her in Spanish—“¡Cuidado!” Throughout the text, the Spanish words appear in bold and italicized print. Context and an opening glossary provide the definitions rather than simultaneous translation. This results in a story that avoids becoming repetitive for bilingual readers and that readers who do not speak Spanish will also easily understand.
This spirited interpretation of a classic fairy tale successfully mixes magic and reality, as well as Spanish and English words. (Picture book. 3-7)