Hello everybody!! Things have been hectic here at chez Sillett. After 9 bouts of mastitis (yes, you read that correctly — NINE!) and strict doctor’s orders not to be away from my nearly-9-month-old for more than three hours at a time, I have finally come up for air. Oh, and I wrote a couple of middle grade manuscripts in between just for kicks and giggles.
So I’m excited to tuck in and get reviewin’! Without further ado, I present to you an unpacking of *drum roll please*…
…Very little Red Riding Hood
As my loyal followers know (all six of them, here’s lookin’ at you, Ma 😉 ), I am obsessed with metafiction and fractured fairy tales. I spied this book a couple weeks ago and couldn’t wait to tuck in. Here’s what I found.
So, I’ll be blunt. I didn’t love it. It was kinda cute, definitely chirpy, and a safe read for the littlees who are old enough to know the original story but too young to be exposed to anything too scary. But, sadly, it just didn’t do it for me.
Red is a very little girl headed to grandmother’s house. She speaks in a sort of little kidese: ‘I Red’ and ‘I go’ etc. However, stylistically this sort of dialogue just wasn’t my jam. Grandma is a modern nanna type with an adorable short haircut and pants, as opposed to the helpless frail woman in a1900s style dress, bed cap and glasses (LOVE!). Ultimately though, the problem for me lay with the wolf. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the characterisation of the wolf. Is he (or she?) nice? Charming? Sweet? Anxious? Bland? That’s probably what I found the most jarring. I really couldn’t tell and, when it comes to the wolf, they really need to have some sort of intriguing and defining characteristic.
If I had to sum it up, I’d say this was a safe and sweet spin on an otherwise gory tale. Is it worth your time? Well, Nick Sharratt provides the quote at the back so that’s testament to it. But for me, I wanted more from Very little Red Riding Hood than I got. And yep, I feel like kind of a jerk saying it :(, but hey, you wanted honest reviews (here’s lookin’ at you, Ma!) so here it is.
Written and illustrated by: Teresa Heapy and Sue Heap (yes, really).
The book is published by David Fickling Books, RRP: $24.99. You can find a copy at: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17612710-very-little-red-riding-hood