From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-This retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood” set in Africa recasts the wolf as a lion. Little Red’s Auntie has broken out in “spots” and asks Little Red to bring her medication. This necessitates a long journey through the jungle. Lion stalks Little Red and develops a plan to eat her and Auntie. Little Red is too smart for Lion and distracts him with delays like grooming his mane into braids. When Lion’s ruse is spoiled, Little Red tells him that if he was hungry, “all you had to do was ask for some food.” Auntie’s spots are healed, Lion’s behavior is changed by Little Red’s generosity, and all is well. Smith’s adaptation is sadly uneven. Average writing accompanies above-average illustrations in a riotously colorful cartoon style. However, the page layout renders the story very choppy, making it ill-suited for reading aloud. Additionally, the cultural representation is half-hearted and awkward. The illustrations depict a wide variety of African animals, but other than Little Red and her family being black, nothing about the story line is particularly “African” other than the lion. Auntie’s “spots” and her need for “spot cream” are also nonspecific, and Little Red improbably brings her a snack of doughnuts. VERDICT Niki Daly’s Pretty Salma more successfully gives a classic tale an African spin, rendering this one a strictly additional purchase with limited appeal.-Jessica Bushore, Xenia, OH
* “Great storytelling braided with lively color and a culturally affirming accent makes this book a real standout.” Kirkus Reviews
* “Spectacular, zingy, warm colors, an African setting, fantastic comic timing, and cartoonish, acrobatic lines infuse this updated take on a classic tale with maximum humor and energy. This hilarious retelling is destined for repeat reads.” — Publisher’s Weekly
Praise for Home by Alex T. Smith:
“A clever story, but what really makes this pop are Smith’s full-color illustrations, which depict each fantasy in thought bubbles crammed with hysterically funny details. Great for reading aloud or for savoring alone.” — Booklist
“Smith keeps the story zipping along, effectively using repeating phrases, story elements, and scenarios. The pages teem with digitized colors, textures, and photos, but the overall atmosphere is quiltlike and cozy. It’s a persuasive argument for finding creative solutions to problems instead of walking away.” — Publishers Weekly
Praise for Claude in the City by Alex T. Smith:
“There’s much to love in this resurrection of the cheerful city chronicle of the ’60s.” — Publishers Weekly
From the Inside Flap
Along the way she meets the Very Hungry Lion.
The Lion is eager to gobble up Little Red, but his plan doesn’t work out the way he wanted.
A classic fairy ta
About the Author
Little Red is on her way to visit Auntie Rosie with a basket of goodies and some spot medicine. Along the way she meets the Very Hungry Lion. The Lion is eager to gobble up Little Red. The Lion’s plan doesn’t work out the way he wanted. Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion is a fractured fairy tale version of Little Red Riding Hood. It’s a classic fairy tale with a safari twist! Alex T. Smith’s fun, bold art brings Little Red Riding Hood to life in a refreshing new way that will delight young readers.