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Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  16,656 ratings  ·  1,065 reviews
"Not for the faint-hearted, Lon Po Po (Grandmother Wolf), is a tale of a menacing danger and courage....(Young's) command of page composition and his sensitive use of color give the book a visual force that matches the strength of the story and stands as one of the illustrator's best efforts." --Booklist"Absolutely splendid." -- Kirkuse Reviews. "An extraordinary and powerful book." -- Publisher's Weekly
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published November 1st 1989 by Philomel Books (first published January 1st 1989)
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Bryn In the western version, one little girl goes to visit her grandmother in the woods.

In this story, there are three girls left alone when…more
In the western version, one little girl goes to visit her grandmother in the woods.

In this story, there are three girls left alone when their mother goes to visit their grandmother. The wolf sees that they are left alone, and knocks on their door, pretending to be their grandmother and asking to be let inside.(less)

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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  16,656 ratings  ·  1,065 reviews

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the origins of the little red riding hood story are unclear, but they can be traced to well before the 17th century perrault interpretation most familiar to western readers. earlier versions of the tale have turned up in other parts of europe, in africa, asia, and the middle east. in some of the stories, the children are eaten, in some they escape, in some they are eaten and still escape, sometimes the antagonist is a tiger, a fox, a hyena...

this book is presenting itself as A Red-Riding Hood Story From China, but i
My daughters are participating in “Book Bingo” this summer, a reading program from their school librarian that involves them “playing bingo” on a card with 25 different reading opportunities.

Last night's box to be filled was “a Caldecott winner,” and, since we own several, we struggled to choose just one, and this involved a small scuffle with painful elbows and the near-destruction of the winning book.

The fighting ninjas eventually chose Lon Po Po, the only Caldecott winner penned and
Unsettling! So much more intense and scary than Little Red Riding Hood. These 3 girls are brave, fierce things standing up to this hungry wolf. I mean, this gave me chills.

Plus, the art is impressionistic and the uncertain depictions really helped to unsettle the story. I really enjoy this story. It is wonderful and wow. It shows what being brave really is.

This was intense for the kids and they still enjoyed it. The nephew needed some reassurance it would be alright.
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the Chinese version of Red Riding Hood and it is quite wonderful. We get three children in danger of the wolf and they handle it by using their brains so it's a much more intelligent spin than we often get in European versions of fairy tales.
Plus, this book has some very nice artwork completing the overall look of the story. Simple but beautiful.

“Lon Po Po” is a Caldecott Medal winning book by Ed Young that is a remake of Brothers Grimm’s classic “Red Riding Hood,” only this time, there are three sisters who outwit a cunning wolf in this tale. “Lon Po Po” may be a bit too scary for smaller children because of the images, but older children will easily love this story that is full of mystery and suspense.

Ed Young has done a great job at writing and illustrating this old Chinese folktale about how three sisters outwit a cunning and frightening wolf
I've found my favourite version of Little Red Riding Hood! This one is Chinese, and had me laughing myself into a bellyache with the wickedly clever counter-schemes by the little girls to outsmart the Big Bad Wolf.

Like the Western version we're familiar with, there's a mother fretting over an ailing grandmother, a need to go visit said granny, and the wolf disguising himself as the old woman in hopes of getting a tasty meal. There's even the Grandmother, what big teeth you have! question and a
Henry Martin
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
An interesting cautionary tale in the style of 'Little Red' from China. Unlike the western version, this one has a different ending where the children outwit the wolf. The illustrations accompanying the text are wonderful, and match the text well.
I have very much enjoyed both narrative and accompanying illustrations of this Red Riding Hood type of tale from China, how the three sisters are able to outsmart and later kill the "big bad wolf" by subterfuge, and by specifically focusing and playing on the latter's greediness and gluttony. Author/illustrator Ed Young's water colours and pastels evocatively and expressively provide a perfect physical and atmospheric mirror of and to the text, with just enough creepiness to mildly frighten (alt ...more
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lon Po Po is another book I wanted to check out because it made the Top 20 Most Beautiful Children’s Books list. I love the creepy wolf on the cover. I think Ed Young loves wolves too because he puts a dedication at the beginning of the book.

To all the wolves of the world
for lending their good name
as a tangible symbol
for our darkness

This is an old Chinese folk tale called Granny Wolf. The illustration is excellent, and I loved the old world feeling the book had. Lon Po Po may b/>To
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I particularly like the dedication page, in which Young creates an image that is both man and wolf, and is written:

"To all the wolves of the world
for lending their good name
as a tangible symbol
for our darkness."
Another book I read to my daughter when she was little. Liked it and remember the artwork being perfect for the mood and retelling of this children's classic. No rating due to this being read so long ago.
Lynne King
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: china, children-s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin Ramai
I gave this book a 4 star rating. Lon Po Po won a Caldecott medal in 1990. The illustrations combine ancient Chinese panel art with contemporary watercolors and pastels. The reading level of this book is appropriate for children aged 4-8, but can be enjoyed as a read aloud with younger children and as a trip down memory lane for older readers. However, reader be warned, it is slightly morbid.

Lon Po Po is a red riding hood story from China. It fits into both the multicultural and traditional cat
Jan 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a unique version of "Little Red Riding Hood," where the wolf comes to visit the little girls while their Mom is visiting Grandma (or "Po Po").

It is an interesting story, and although it might be a little scary for our girls, they really liked it. It's a wonderful book to read aloud at storytime. Great illustrations!

Mar 2012 update: We watched this story on DVD as part of Scholastic's Storybook Treasures. The story is not truly animated, but the illustrations are shown with v
NS- Sarah
This is a version of the "The Little Red Riding Hood" from China about three siblings whose mother leaves to visit their grandmother. This book is a 1990 Caldecott Medal winner. The wolf sees the mother leave and approaches the house pretending to be the grandmother. In the end, the children out smart the wolf by tricking him into climbing a tree with them. The wolf falls to his death and the children return safely to their home. Upon their mother's return they enlighten her about how they escap ...more
Lon Po Po, which means “granny wolf” in Chinese, is the Chinese retelling of the classic Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. A mother leaves her three daughters—Shang, Tao, and Paotze—home alone when she sets out to visit their grandmother. The wolf dresses up as the grandmother and gains entrance to the family home soon thereafter. When the girls realize the wolf is not their grandmother, they use the lure of gingko nuts to trick the gluttonous wolf, allowing them to climb the gingko tree. Telling ...more
Jennifer Tarr
This Chinese version of Little Red Riding Hood provides a direct contrast to the original Grimm version--the teacher in me could envision the Venn Diagrams straight away! While the wolf antagonist, theme of caution, and children's observation skills remains the same, most other points differ. In this version, the mother leaves to visit the grandmother, the wolf comes to the children's home, the children outsmart the wolf and save themselves. The author and illustrator, Ed Young, born and raised ...more
Book Concierge
The story is a traditional Chinese tale, somewhat akin to Red Riding Hood. The children remain at home, however, while their mother leaves to go visit their grandmother. The wolf tricks them into opening the door, but they children outsmart the wolf.

It's a timeless lesson about heeding warnings, and obeying the instructions of your elders. But I really like the way these three young girls get the best of the bad wolf! They are brave and clever.

Young’s beautiful illustrations support and
Oct 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kindergarteners and early elementary
This is a Chinese fairy tale. A mother leaves her three daughters alone and a wolf visits them pretending to be their Po Po (Grandmother). After thinking it is their granny, one of them catches a glimpse of the wolf's face. They then trick the wolf and the wolf ends up dying. Their mother comes homes and they live happily ever after.

The illustrations are dreamy and quity scary.

A funny story: My son looked at the picture with three daughters and said, "But in China, they're only supposed to hav
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
The pictures are a little too vague and skimpy for a good readaloud, but this Chinese story is great and can be used to compare and contrast with the traditional "Little Red Riding Hood".
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This may be my favorite Little Red Riding Hood version. It's a Chinese folktale, where the children must be clever to save themselves from a wolf that comes knocking when their mother is away. I loved the agency of the children, the artwork, and the dialog that gives lots of room for voices when reading it aloud.

Most amazingly, Marian -- my 5 month old -- listened to the entire book straight through! And it's a longer picture book! She was rapt the entire time. Quite an amazing feat.

Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ed Young is an amazing artist. His work here is a haunting rendering of a story we usually think of as Black-Forest German. The drawings are so beautiful I forgot to be scared.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Caldecott Medal Winner of the year 1990 was a variety of the famous fairytale of Red. But for this Chinese version, there are three sisters, the oldest Shang, the middle one Tao, and the youngest Paotze, who are left by the mother alone at home overnight. She gave the girls strict instructions to behave and latch the door when she left. The sisters followed their mother instructions, but a wolf that lived nearby saw the mother leave and decided to pay the girls a visit. Dressed as the sister ...more
Feb 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: traditional-lit
This is a wonderful variation of the classic, Little Red Riding Hood. Instead of one girl alone in the woods being tricked by a smart wolf, this story has three siblings at home alone. This is the Chinese version. Lon Po Po is a Caldecott Award Winner. The children in the story are home alone while their mother goes to visit their Po Po. Along comes a clever and hungry wolf who disguises himself as their Po Po. The wolf is invited in and the children entertain the thought he is their dear po po. ...more
Kirah Marshall
Sep 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-summaries
1. Lon Po Po is the story of three young sisters who are left at home alone while their mother goes to visit their grandmother "po po." When the mother leaves, a smart, cunning wolf sees and comes up with a plan to pretend to be the childrens' grandmother. The wolf knocks on the door, and the cautious children ask him many questions to see if it really is their po po. They believe him and let him in. He blows out the candles in the house so that they can not see him. They get ready for bed. Whil ...more
Amy Vana
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: traditional-lit
Lon Po Po, translated and illustrated by Ed Young, is a red- riding hood story from China. It was the winner of the 1990 Caldecott Medal as the most distinguished picture book. I first read about this text within the chapter on traditional literature in the Children’s Books in Children’s Hands: A Brief Introduction to Their Literature and located it at my local library. A digital reading of this text can be located on narrated by multiple readers. The youtube video I watched was read ...more
Feb 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China is a spin on the traditional version of Little Red Riding Hood. First, it is set in China and secondly, the wolf impersonating the grandmother comes to the children, not the other way around. Once the children figure out grandma did not come visit them, they devise a plan to keep themselves safe. Are they able to stay away from the wolf?

I thought the story was decent, but Ed Young truly excelled with the illustrations. The pictures were d
A classic Chinese retelling of 'Red Riding Hood' - a very different albeit similar take, with three young sisters at the forefront.

The misty watercolour illustrations really add to the darkness of the book. The wolf himself - Lon Po Po, the house intruder disguised as the girls' grandmother - is terrifying, yet at the end you can't help feeling sorry for him. An oddly tragic villain, is Granny Wolf. I love the dynamic between the three girls - Shang, Tao, and Paotze - and how they pr
Oct 06, 2009 rated it liked it

Lon Po Po is a picture book for older readers (or younger readers, with support) that won the Caldecott Medal in 1990. Lon Po Po, as the cover describes, is a Red Riding Hood story from China. In Lon Po Po, the protagonist is not one girl but three young children and the problem is not that they have to travel through the woods to their grandmother's house but that they are left alone at home when their mother leaves to travel to their grandmother's house. Soon enough, the children hear
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: traditional-lit
Lon Po Po is a beautiful story offered by Ed Young. It is a Chinese traditional tale that is very similar to the Western Little Red Riding Hood. Three young children outwit a wolf who has come to eat them up while there mother is out visiting their grandmother.

This story suggests that being calm and quick on your feet is a worthy trait that we should aspire towards. The illustrations bring an intense sense of danger and fear. The colors and light force us to dread the sight of the wolf until th
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Ed Young is the illustrator of more than eighty books for children, seventeen of which he has also written. Among his books is the Caldecott Medal winner Lon Po Po, which he both wrote and illustrated. He says that his work is inspired by the philosophy of Chinese painting. He lives in Westchester County, New York.
“To all the wolves of the world for lending their good name as a tangible symbol for our darkness.” 10 likes
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