Little Red Riding Hood

This year I’m determined to do more book reviews on this blog. (Including adult books, but not today!) There are just so many good books in this world, and a recommendation is always a good thing. My favourite way to do a review of a child’s book is to tell a story or connect it with an activity that went with the book. Which is all very good and fun, and I will continue doing this. But in the interest of increasing the book review quota, Sometimes I’d just love to tell you about an enjoyable book.

Starting with Alison Jay’s version of Little Red Riding Hood that I read to the boys tonight for bedtime stories. (Koala Books, published December 2013. RRP: $14.99)

Just to prove it was a bedtime story, we went for a night stroll in the garden to take some pictures of the book.

I do love a fairy tale, and they are an excellent tool to teach and enrich literacy for children. This version of Little Red Riding Hood stays quite close to the traditional tale. It is a watered down version where Granny gets locked in a cupboard instead of being eaten by the wolf, therefore the woodcutter doesn’t need to split the wolf’s stomach open to free the old lady, but merely ties the big bad wolf up instead.

I’m always in two minds about watering down the fairy tales. In one sense I object to the political correctness feel of it. But when I’m reading it to my kids, I’m secretly glad that there it is not going to be scary enough to haunt their imaginations. Because seriously, the traditional fairy tales are really quite frightening. In fact, leftover from childhood, I may be a teensy bit afraid of the Big Bad Wolf myself when I travel through forests, and therefore never stray from the paths…

The illustrations in this book are whimsical and bound to engage your child in the imaginative element of fairytales and children’s literature. My favourite part of the whole book is that even though it is a story of only one fairy tale, it is set in “Fairytale Village” and in every page there are multiple references to a whole host of different fairytales. As I read it to the boys, not only did I read the written words, but I also orally told them some of the other fairy tales as well. They were so excited when they recognised characters on their own, and they were interested to hear some of the other stories that they didn’t know, or needed a refresher for their memories.

Altogether a very pleasant book of a traditional fairytale with a few little twists.

What do you think? Should fairy tales remain scary or is it OK to soften the blow for the antagonist?

**This book was gifted to me by Scholastic Australia. Everything I have written are my own thoughts and opinions.

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