STARRED REVIEW
July 08, 2019

Fairy-tale picture books: Little Red Riding Hood reboots

Feature by
Two new picture books, The Great Gran Plan and Little Red Reading Hood and the Misread Wolf, prove there are still clever, undiscovered ways to find your happily ever after.
STARRED REVIEW
July 08, 2019

Fairy-tale picture books: Little Red Riding Hood reboots

Feature by
Two new picture books, The Great Gran Plan and Little Red Reading Hood and the Misread Wolf, prove there are still clever, undiscovered ways to find your happily ever after.
July 08, 2019

Fairy-tale picture books: Little Red Riding Hood reboots

Feature by
Two new picture books, The Great Gran Plan and Little Red Reading Hood and the Misread Wolf, prove there are still clever, undiscovered ways to find your happily ever after.
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Around the world, fairy tales have been passed down for centuries. They’re used to share traditions, reflect culture, teach lessons and entertain. The old stories are timeless; newcomers simply add beauty and breadth to this beloved genre. Two new picture books, The Great Gran Plan and Little Red Reading Hood and the Misread Wolf, prove there are still clever, undiscovered ways to find your happily ever after.


The Great Gran Plan, written by Elli Woollard and brilliantly illustrated by Steven Lenton, begins when the smart pig (the bricklayer) discovers the bad wolf’s granny-guzzling to-do list and hops in his van to save Little Red Riding Hood’s grandma. However, our unlikely hero becomes bogged down by his search for supplies, gets caught in a case of mistaken identity, and may need some rescuing of his own.

The Great Gran Plan boasts fairies and poison apples, glass slippers and wishing wells. References to countless fairy tales are craftily tucked into each page, and readers will have a blast discovering the Three Bears’ “Just Right” store (where everything comes in three sizes) and “Peep’s Bo-tique” (staffed by a helpful sheep named “Baarb”). Lenton’s imaginative images will have readers inspecting every page for sneaky details in a hysterical who’s-who of fairy-tale land. Keep an eye on the cat, who ends up a little worse for wear every time the pig gets in the van. Bonus points if you spot Captain Hook.

Woollard’s narration rhymes and rolls with alliteration and assonance, building momentum and hilarity and making it an ideal read-together. Full of beloved characters and witty predicaments, The Great Gran Plan will become a delightful new bookshelf favorite.

While wolves usually play the bad guy, recent fairy tales have recast the big, bad dude as misunderstood, misrepresented or maligned. Written by Troy Wilson and illustrated by Ilaria Campana, Little Red Reading Hood and the Misread Wolf turns this familiar fairy tale on its head with an intelligent and literary twist.

Wilson and Campana’s book has all the familiar tropes: a sneaky wolf in spectacles, a missing Grandma and a strong woodsman. But Wilson’s Red is brave, bright, well read and has no desire to be eaten. Wilson’s narration is laid-back, humorous and an effortless read-aloud. Readers will laugh when the granny-impersonating wolf loses his cool with an “Oh, forget it!” and gasp when the woodsman charges in, ax ready. Campana’s illustrations are vibrant and sharp with a cartoony feel that will appeal to children.

Much less grim than the original (nobody gets eaten or attacked with the ax), Little Red Reading Hood and the Misread Wolf invites us into a timeless world that has just the right amount of spooky. It’s a classic tale with modern sensibility that gives new life to a very old story.

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Get the Books

The Great Gran Plan

The Great Gran Plan

By Elli Woollard, illustrated by Steven Lenton
Holt
ISBN 9781250186034
Little Red Reading Hood and the Misread Wolf

Little Red Reading Hood and the Misread Wolf

By Troy Wilson, illustrated by Ilaria Campana
Running Press
ISBN 9780762492664

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