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LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD by The Brothers Grimm


by The Brothers Grimm ; illustrated by Bernadette Watts

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7358-2256-6
Publisher: NorthSouth

My, what big talent she has! British artist Watts’s treatment of this Grimm Brothers favorite was first published in Europe in 1968. Now issued with a new (sadly uncredited) English translation, it will reach a contemporary American audience. The illustrator’s detailed, richly colored pictures bear the influence of her mentor, Brian Wildsmith, and she demonstrates her mastery of the picture-book form as she juxtaposes characters across the gutter at strategic moments, employs fully saturated pages at some turns and spot art at others, all heightening readers’ focus and dramatic tension at key points. That said, even the inclusion of the oft-excluded scene in which the huntsman sews stones into the belly of the doomed wolf doesn’t push the story into terribly frightening graphic content. Earlier, both Grandma and Little Red are devoured offstage in the illustrations, and the four-picture sequence depicting the wolf getting his comeuppance is comical rather than gory. The old is new again here, and this is a welcome addition to the fairy-tale shelf. (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-9)