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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde

Title: Cloaked in Red
ISBN: 9780761457930
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Page #: 127
Source: From my public library

"So you think you know 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? Well, then, try your hand at answering these questions:

* Which character (not including LIttle Red herself) ist he most fashion challenged?

* Who (not including the wolf) is the scariest?

* Who is the strangest? (Notice we're not 'not including' anyone, because they're all a little off.)

* Who (no fair saying 'the author') has stuffing for brains?

Vivian Vande Velde has taken eight new looks at one of the world's most beloved (and mixed-up) stories. You may never look at fairy tales in quite the same way again."
First Lines:

"Once upon a time, after fashion was discovered but before people had makeovers on TV, there was a young girl named Meg."
Page 16 (From The Red Cloak)

This book was a lot different from what I was expecting. I didn't realize it was going to be several short stories that took the Little Red Riding Hood story and altered it. Though, what a cute idea?! There are so many different ways this story can be told - and tons of perspectives. I loved how the author explored every one of them.

From the "first lines" section up there, you can see that the author took a really humorous view of the Red Riding Hood story. And, to be honest, she's right about how it doesn't always make sense. Especially when you consider all of the weird things that happen in the original versions. But the author took those stories and gave them a facelift for the better. Not to mention the great first lines of each story - I'd write them all here, but I don't wanna give them all away :).

There are a few of the stories in this book that pull in a couple of other fairy tales or myths. My favorite was the one about the nearsighted old man who gathers wood in the forest. Very fun. And I also loved the one about the cloak being given the gift of being smart. The ending on that one made me smile.

I really think that anyone who loves retold fairy tales will get a kick out of this book. The author does a fantastic job deconstructing the story and putting it back together in weird and awesome ways. I'll definitely be recommending it to many of my teens - it seems that retold stories are seriously in vogue right now. This is also a really quick read with all of the stories broken up.

Check out the author's website to see all of the amazing books she's written. I'm in awe :).
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DJL said...

I just love revamped and retold fairytales. :) They usually make me think about the original tales in a new light. Great review and happy reading!

librarian pirate said...

I am deplorably behind in my google reader (as is obvious by the fact that I'm just now reading this). BUT BUT BUT Vivian Vande Velde is amazing! Her Rumpelstiltskin Problem seems similar - it's 8 different tellings of Rumpelstiltskin - each one fixing what she sees as the problems in the story in different ways. And I love it. I'm so going to have to check this one out too! We have The Rumpelstiltskin Problem down in Juvenile Fiction, though, and it seems like our teen librarians are the one who got Cloaked in Red.

Thank you so much for pointing this book out to me! I'm excited to read it.

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