Forward (Shakespeare's Globe ) adds to the growing list of fractured fairy tales with this wolf's version of events involving Little Red Riding Hood, delivered directly to readers in often witty banter ("I did odd jobs for the old woman. Called her Grandma . We were close"). But the furry fellow, a self-proclaimed vegetarian, portrays himself as vulnerable and insecure when describing "Little Red." ("Me, I didn't like the kid being there.... I felt left out.... They just ignored me.") Cohen's detailed watercolors shape the wolf's perspectives via different senses; the red-caped girl is depicted through his agape mouth--with many sharp teeth--as a reflection in his deep-set eyes and framed by his furry ears. The illustrations also help play up the discrepancies in the narrator's version of events (when the wolf "help[s]" Grandma try to get down her dress, she gets "a teeny tiny bump on the head that knocked her cold"). The story maintains a sense of humor throughout and ends with the wolf hamming it up yet again: "And if you ever want any odd jobs done around the house... Here's my card." His bookend refrain--"Would I lie to you?"--conjures up an image of the oily salesman. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)[Page 66]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
PreS-Gr 2 -The wolf's interpretation of what happened in the "Little Red Riding Hood" story tries too hard and misses the mark. He tells how he did odd jobs for Grandma and one day, as the woman was reaching into her wardrobe, she "'accidentally" bumped her head and was knocked out cold. In a panic, he pushed her inside and donned her dress to fool the granddaughter who was knocking at the door. The text has several lapses in logic. In one situation, the girl says, "What BIG ears you have," and the response is "'Oh, these old things,' I said, and changed the subject.'" However, he didn't change the subject since the girl is the next to speak. Throughout the retelling, the wolf poses questions that are meant to exude innocence-"Would I LIE to you?" "I did nothing wrong. Would I?" "Not everyone likes a wolf, do they?" The watercolor-and-pencil illustrations reveal a shiny-faced young girl, a cozy-looking grandmother, and a scraggly gray wolf with sly yellow eyes. They offer interesting perspectives: bird's-eye views of the forest; looking into the wolf's eyes to see the reflection of a small red-coated girl; and a view of the child framed by the wolf's tooth-rimmed mouth. At story's end, the animal walks away with his shortened tail wrapped in a bloody bandage while telling readers that he's still available for hire. Stick with Jon Scieszka's The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! (Viking, 1989) for a humorous, and involving, story of fabricated guilelessness.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI[Page 97]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.