Becca Buckman's Reviews > Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood by Trina Schart Hyman
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Nov 22, 11

Read in November, 2011

Little Red Riding Hood, the story retold and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, is a traditional literature children’s story. Young Elisabeth’s journey through the woods to grandma’s house will forever be a favorite among young students. Highlights from this tale include innocent, sweet Elisabeth meeting a wolf in the woods, wondering off by herself to pick pretty flowers for her sick grandmother and noticing grandma’s rather large ears and eyes. Pick up the book to find out if grandma and Elisabeth are able to escape the sly wolf’s dinner (it will probably depend on which version you read!).

a.) A strength from Hyman’s retake on the popular tale comes from the incredible images from Elisabeth’s adventure into the forest.

b.) The tiny young lady sets out on her adventure wearing her favorite long red coat. The illustrations in the story show her eager to befriend the nice tall wolf (p.4-5), carrying on a pleasant conversation (p. 6-7), and walking into her grandmother’s house with an unknown “frightened” feeling (p. 14-15). The great attention to detail in the images will allow the readers to feel as if they too are walking through the woods and into sick grandma’s house. The illustrations will also gather the readers’ willingness to desperately try to warn the young Riding Hood from encroaching upon the wolf’s awful eating plan.

c.) The more enjoyable scenes depicted in the travels through the woods show signs of light and warm-hearted feelings, while the views inside grandmother’s house appear darker with a sense of fear shown through Elisabeth’s eyes and body. Joy is finally restored after grandmother and Little Red Riding Hood enjoy bread, wine and blackberry tea, happy to be safe from the wolf’s tummy. Little Red learns a lesson in her travels, a way to stay in the light and away from fear, to “never wander off the forest path again” (p. 28).

Tradition, lessons and adventure come along with the story about the girl in the long red coat. Intriguing images and impeccable language will constitute classroom discussion and interesting student activities. The students can be invited to write about their own journey into the woods, or predict what they would do if a big wolf ever approached them. Teachers and students can even discuss which goodies they would choose to take to sick grandmother!
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