Fairy Tale Book Review: The Girl in Red by Aaron Frisch & Robert Innocenti

The Girl in RedThe Girl in Red by Aaron Frisch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a strange little book, recasting the story of Little Red Riding Hood in something of an urban wasteland. It’s unclear exactly who this book is supposed to appeal to — it’s a bit too dark to read to children as a picture book (School Library Journal recommends it for ages 12+, but the Sioux Falls library has it shelved in children’s), but not quite meaty or edgy enough to appeal to teens. Also, the fact that it looks so much like a traditional picture book, and not, say, a graphic novel, seems like it would alienate potential older readers before they delved inside. On the other hand, parents reading it to their children might be unpleasantly surprised by its dark tone.

Overall, Ivan and I came to the conclusion that it may be best suited to parents wanting the Red Riding Hood story to retain the same impact as a cautionary tale as it may have originally, for children who may not understand the symbolism of the woods and the wolf in the original. It seems its best use would be as a “readaloud” only AFTER a parent had reviewed it independently and decided s/he wanted to use it with their children, making sure to give it proper context.

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