From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3—Daly’s boldly colored illustrations perfectly match this West African incarnation of the classic story. Pretty Salma is sent to the market by her grandmother and told to come straight home, but she takes a shortcut through the wild part of town and encounters Mr. Dog, who tricks her out of her basket, sandals, ntama, scarf, and beads. Mr. Dog scares Salma off and he goes to Granny’s house to trick her. Meanwhile, Salma finds her grandfather in his Anansi costume telling stories in the village square and the two of them quickly set off to rescue Granny. The cartoon-style paintings capture the sights and flavor of the setting and add dimension and humorous details to this modern version of a timeless tale. Enjoyable on its own, this story would be especially fun combined with and compared to the many other “Little Red” stories available.—Genevieve Gallagher, Murray Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA
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In this playful fractured fairy tale set in Ghana, Salma encounters big, bad Mr. Dog while she is shopping on the wild side of town. Ignoring Granny’s message (“Don’t talk to strangers”), she is tricked into giving him her pretty things. He then tricks Granny into thinking he is Salma. But Salma dresses up with the mask of the bogeyman, and with help from storyteller Grandpa, she sends the bad dog on his way. Daly’s line-and-watercolor art, more folkloric than that in his popular Jamela’s Dress (1999), shows a mixture of the traditional and the contemporary in a Ghanaian urban setting–a man in a Western-style suit with a briefcase walks next to a woman carrying her shopping on her head. Add this lively version to other comic retellings of the Red Riding Hood story and other beloved tales. Hazel Rochman
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When Granny asks Pretty Salma to go to the market one day, she warns her not to talk to strangers. But cunning Mr. Dog tricks Salma, and before she knows it, he’s wearing her stripy ntama, her pretty white beads, and her yellow sandals. And he’s on his way to Granny’s house! African culture and flavor infuse this inventive retelling of a favorite fairy tale, and the vibrant lively illustrations bring it to life. The result is a story that combines new and old and spans cultures as successfully as it has spanned the centuries.