Today is the first installment of a new series on fairy tales. I won’t bore you with a long essay on why fairy tales are so incredibly important to your child’s imagination, but I will try to show you how wonderful fairy tales are one post at a time. I think you may be surprised by how much truth about life that transcends both time and cultures are packed into these powerful little stories!
Today’s fairytale is Little Red Riding Hood most notably preserved by the Brothers Grimm. Did you know that the famous combination of a little girl, wolf (or sly creature), and grandmother appears in tales around the world? As I read different interpretations of this tale, I noticed that most renditions of Little Red Riding Hood emphasize her good but overly trusting nature, the sly trickery of the wolf, and the justice of the wolf’s death and consequent saving of Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. This tale is a wonderful way to emphasize that your children should be wary of strangers (especially those who flatter) and also the moral law of those who take advantage of the weak will be punished.
Twelve Great Books about Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood by Jerry Pinkney – I enjoyed the palate of bright colors in Pinkney’s full page water color illustrations.
Little Red Cap illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger and translated by Elizabeth D. Crawford – I liked Zwerger’s fresh interpretation with muted water color illustrations and hazy white backgrounds that brings out the red cap.
Little Red Riding Hood by Debbie Lavreys – Lavreys’ full page illustrations are whimsical and happy but not cartoonish.
Little Red Riding Hood retold and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman – I fell in love with Hyman’s full page paintings that capture so much detail and emotion.
Little Red Riding Hood retold and illustrated by Andrea Wisnewski – This version is worth reading just to experience Wisnewski’s beautiful art process that combines black and white paper-cuts with painted color.
Little Red Riding Hood adapted from The Brothers Grimm by Gennady Spirin – If you like traditional Renaissance style paintings to accompany your fairy tales, you will enjoy this version by Gennady Spirin. This book would be a perfect introduction to the world of Red Riding Hood for a young child.
Red Riding Hood by James Marshall - Okay, I admit, we are on a total James Marshall kick right now, so we couldn’t resist checking out Marshall’s Red Riding Hood. As one would expect, he tells the story with his tongue and cheek style that never fails to tickle young readers.
Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood by Mike Artell and illustrated by Jim Harris – This rendition takes place in the Louisiana swamp. Petite Rouge (a goose) takes a basket of gumbo, a sweater, and boudin (Cajun sausage) to her grand-mere who lives across the swamp. On the way to her grand-mere house, she meets Claude the gator who decides that he would like some “lonch”. But, a this Petite Rouge is a little smarter than some of her traditional counterparts and cleverly outwits the gator in her own Cajun way. Told in hilarious poem:
Petite Rouge, she say, “Grand-mere!
I know you been sick,
but I t-ink mah eyes
be playin’ on me a trick.”
Pretty Salma: A Little Red Riding Hood Story from Africa by Niki Daly – In this West African Little Red Riding Hood story, a dog uses flattery to try to rob Salma of her clothes and attempts to usurp her place in her family. Salma, once wise to her predicament finds her grandfather and together they outsmart the Mr. Dog.
Little Red: A Fizzingly Good Yarn by Lynn Roberts and David Roberts - This rendition celebrates the American revolutionary independent spirit with Thomas (Little Red) who ingeniously outwits the wolf with a bottle of ginger ale. This version is a creative take that emphasizes history. I didn’t particularly care for the illustrations (my unartsy opinion), but I think I’m just grossed out because Grandmother has about four inches of cleavage in her dress plus a mole.
Little Red Riding Hood: A Newfangled Prairie Tale by Lisa Campbell Ernst – Little Red Riding Hood decides to ride across the prairie with some fresh muffins and lemonade for her grandma. When she encounters the wolf, he devilishly distracts her and figures he will hurry to the “ancient granny’s” home to gobble her up and wait for Little Red Riding Hood. But, when he gets there grandmother turns out not to be the old loon he had expected, and the story takes a dramatic turn from the traditional wolf-eats-grandmother fare with a sparkle of humor.
Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Story from China by Ed Young – I wrote a review of this fantastic rendition of Red Riding Hood by Ed Young as one of my first blog posts. With lovely panel Chinese style illustrations and a fascinating local twist on this ancient tale, everyone should check out this classic. For more information: check out my review
Red Riding Hood Activity Ideas:
Pretend playing a fairy tale is a great way to get your children to process the story and encourage their imagination. Here are some great ideas on how to inspire some imaginative play:
You absolutely must check out this lovely story box by Anna at Imagination Tree (by the way, one of my favorite blogs!)
|Please do not pin this image from my blog, instead follow the link to pin from the original source!|
And, of course, you could just simply act out the story with your children using Legos or dolls with limited props. Kids have such great imaginations they will have no trouble pretending!
I hope I’ve inspired you to read a few new books and encourage some play around the theme of Red Riding Hood. What Red Riding Hood themed books and activities do you love?
This post is linked to: Book Sharing Monday and Tuesday Tots