We confess, we are big fans of fairy tales, and especially the many variations on Little Red Riding Hood. Readers of Lit for Kids may have noticed a trend over the years, with blog posts like:
So we were especially pleased to see Vivian Vande Velde’s slim collection of stories for tweens and teens Cloaked in Red. It’s a lot of fun for kids familiar with the well-loved and oft-told tale seeing what can happen with the story in the hands of a creative and accomplished author like Velde. The Author’s Note is a perfect preface for the collection of short stories that retell the story of Little Red Riding Hood. First, the author looks at the face of the story and how–well–strange it is: “Everyone knows the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the girl with the unfortunate name and the inability to tell the difference between her grandmother and a member of a different species.” She goes on to point out the many things that make it “the exact opposite of a good story.” So she takes up the challenge to write eight new versions to make it better. And we’re so glad she did! Within the tales, Velde takes a swipe at fashion, family dysfunction, secrets and histories, and so much more. (Including the hapless Brothers Grimm.)
So dig in and enjoy yourself with this entertaining book–and add it to your collection of Little Red Riding Hood tales to savor.