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Reading is great all the time, but this month we celebrate actually being seen with a book in hand laughing at a funny line, shivering over a suspenseful scene or maybe even tearing up over an unexpected plot twist. Throughout the month, authors, illustrators, actors and actresses, athletes, business people, teachers, and students all upload pictures of themselves reading to encourage others to discover the joys of this fun and important pastime. To learn more about the holiday and find resources to download or order, visit the Get Caught Reading website.
It’s Not Little Red Riding Hood
Written by Josh Funk | Illustrated by Edwardian Taylor
You know the deal—Once upon a time there was a little girl whose grandmother loved her so much she sent her a special “red cape with hood she had sewed just for her.” And you probably know about the woods and the big bad wolf and all the rest, but what you might not know is that Little Red has her own version of the story—and she’d eager to tell it. For instance, remember the picnic basket, lovingly packed by Little Red’s mom? It was actually one of those HUGE gift baskets. And didn’t you always think it was a little strange that they sent “a CHILD carrying a GIANT basket into the WOODs. ALL ALONE?” So did Red!
But Little Red wants to help her grandma, so into the woods she goes—just as the narrator tells her to (except she borrows her sister’s blue cape ‘n’ hood). So, she’s walking through the woods, when “a figure crept out from the trees. It was…” A pirate? With a hook on one hand and wolf puppet on the other? He says he just “be fillin’ in” for the wolf who’s sick, but Red’s not having it.
Still, she continues on with “the Big Bad Hook” (who, by the way also wonders about the dangers of Red traipsing around the woods by herself), when this dastardly villain has an idea—a dastardly idea. But the narrator wants to stick with the original script and tells the Big Bad Hook what to do and how to do it. It seems, though, that Hook “did not agree to people-eatin’.” But a story is a story, so Hook hightails it over to Grandma’s house while Red is picking flowers. By now, the Big Bad Hook is a bit confused as to which wolf he should be impersonating, but he gains entrance into Grandma’s house, dresses up as Grandma, and jumps under the covers.
When Red shows up, she goes along with the whole “big ears, big eyes, gold teeth” thing. Just then the woodsman shows up. Well, at least a wood man…um wood kid with a “big nose,” as Red points out. He’s ready to go to battle with the Big Bad Hook, when who should come out of the kitchen, but Grandma! With ice cream sundaes! As they all dig into the sundaes, the narrator despairs. The story just isn’t the story anymore. “Everything is ruined,” the narrator cries. But is it really? Seems Grandma makes a mean sundae—it’s so delicious, in fact, that she opens her Grandma’s Ice Cream shoppe, where all your favorite storybook characters love to gather. And Red? As Dopey tells her, “Maybe your next story is starting right now.”
If you’ve ever wondered about some of the incongruities in the Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf story, you’ll love Josh Funk’s send-up of all those head-scratching details. Here, Little Red adds her perfectly reasonable comments with a pinch of sass and just the right amount of silliness to create a whole new laugh-out-loud rendition of this favorite story. Funk’s substitution of a pirate for the Big Bad Wolf as well as his mash up of other well-known tales will have kids giggling to the very end. Readers will have a hoot following the back and forth between the narrator and the various characters, whose snappy retorts are packaged in easy-to-track speech bubbles.
Edwardian Taylor populates this story with nonstop goofiness that will get kids laughing from the first page. Pratfalls, exaggerated facial expressions, and a delightfully quirky pirate add up to a basketful of fun that kids, parents, teachers, and—yes—grandmas will enjoy sharing for any story time. Taylor’s thatched-roof cottages, deep dark woods, and Big Bad Hook dressed up as Grandma, complete with curlers in his beard, give kids plenty to linger over. They’ll especially want to spend some time pointing out all of the fairytale characters who have come to Grandma’s Ice Cream Shoppe for her delicious sundaes.
Full of surprises and laughs, It’s Not Little Red Riding Hood offers Big, BIG fun for home, classroom, and library story times.
Ages 4 – 8
Two Lions, 2020 | ISBN 978-1542006668
To discover more about Josh Funk and his books and find lots of fun activities and resources, visit his website.
You can learn more about Edwardian Taylor and his books and find a portfolio of his work on his website.
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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million
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