Little Red Hood – a retelling of a classic

If you like your fairytales minimalist, then you must get this superb book.

Little Red Hood by French author Marjolaine Leray is a simple retelling of the classic fairytale, Little Red Riding Hood.

Leray’s style is startlingly simple – each illustration is a sparse composition of black ink and red crayon and the text is equally pared-down with just a few words on each page. The result is dramatic and stunningly beautiful.

Little Red is depicted with her trademark cape, spindly arms and legs, and a button nose. The wolf is suitably scary with a greedy look in his eye, and menacing fangs and claws.

The wolf ‘speaks’ in grey writing and Little Red Hood in red which allows even the youngest readers to engage in the dialogue. Some children may find the style a little blunt however others will revel in the drama. Just as Wolf ties a napkin around his neck and prepares to eat Little Red Hood, she stands up and asks “What’s to eat?” Despite his answer (“Some jooosey red meat!!!”) Little Red Hood doesn’t flinch. A barrage of questions and the offer of a lollie and our little heroine manages to outwit the big, bad wolf (who we learn has “stinky breath”). Little Red Hood’s final thought about Wolf? “Fool!”

Little Red Hood is available from Book Depository for about $13. Book Depository deliver free to Australia. For more Little Red Riding Hood, see our previous post on a beautiful pop-up version of the story.


Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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