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Red Riding Hood

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Mother always told Red Riding Hood not to talk to strangers. But the wolf she met on the way to Granny's was so charming and urbane. What could be the harm of telling him that she was on her way to Granny's pretty yellow house on the other side of the woods? Who could be a better escort than the big-eyed, long armed, big-toothed wolf?

32 pages, Paperback

First published December 1, 1993

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About the author

James Marshall

114 books120 followers
James Edward Marshall (October 10, 1942 – October 13, 1992), who also wrote as Edward Marshall, was a children's author and illustrator.

His father worked on the railroad, was a band member in the 1930s, and his mother sang in the local church choir. His family later moved to Beaumont, Texas. Marshall said: "Beaumont is deep south and swampy and I hated it. I knew I would die if I stayed there so I diligently studied the viola, and eventually won a scholarship to the New England Conservatory in Boston."[1] He entered the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, but injured his hand, ending his music career. He returned to Texas, where he attended San Antonio College, and later transferred to Southern Connecticut State University where he received degrees in French and history.

It is said that he discovered his vocation on a 1971 summer afternoon, lying on a hammock drawing. His mother was watching Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and the main characters, George and Martha, ultimately became characters in one of his children's books. Marshall continued as a children's author until his untimely death in 1992 of a brain tumor. In 1998, George and Martha became the basis of an eponymous animated children's television show.

In addition to George and Martha, the lovable hippopotami, James Marshall created dozens of other uniquely appealing characters. He is well-known for his Fox series (which he wrote as "Edward Marshall"), as well as the Miss Nelson books, the Stupids, the Cut-ups, and many more. James Marshall had the uncanny ability to elicit wild delight from readers with relatively little text and simple drawings. With only two minute dots for eyes, his illustrated characters are able to express a wide range of emotion, and produce howls of laughter from both children and adults.

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5 stars
570 (37%)
4 stars
501 (33%)
3 stars
370 (24%)
2 stars
66 (4%)
1 star
11 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 193 reviews
October 10, 2010
This gently humorous retelling of the classic fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood by James Marshall, combines the familiar Grimm Brothers tale with appealing engaging characters. The characters’ personalities come alive through the boldly colored detailed cartoon style watercolor and black ink line illustrations. The simple text works well with the sprinkling of subtle humorous illustrations; like the empty box of after dinner mints next to the loud snoring wolf.

The protagonist, Red Riding Hood, is a delightful little girl, grandma is a serious reader who is a feisty sort that doesn’t like her reading time interrupted, and the wolf is a charmingly cunning scoundrel. This familiar tale ends with Red Riding Hood learning her lesson and keeping her promise never to speak to strangers, not even a friendly green one.

I would definitely read this story to Pre-school to grade three students for a read aloud and introduction to classic fairy tales. Children will delight in the humorous characters and will ask for this tale to be read over and over again. I also viewed this version of Red Riding hood in non-print form and found the DVD charmingly humorous while also keeping to the integrity of this delightful classic tale.
51 reviews
July 9, 2015
This is my favorite story in children's version. Children are able to learn some problem-solving skills from red riding hood. I can ask children what would they do if they encounter situation like red riding hood.
Profile Image for Kevin Warman.
246 reviews5 followers
October 25, 2018
The story of Little Red Riding Hood has been told again and again. I'll admit I liked this version mostly because of the art. My students enjoyed this too. But, I have to ask: how much of all of this is Little Red's fault? She did not follow her mother's warnings and told the wolf about her grandmother. Red nearly got everyone killed. I think a more critical look at this story is needed.
Profile Image for Laura.
25 reviews
January 26, 2023
Not sure why this book "annoyed" me, but for some reason, the illustrations didn't work for me, and I usually like James Marshall.
Profile Image for KerriRowland.
67 reviews
October 7, 2013
Here is a clever version of the timeless book Red Riding Hood. This book is dedicated to the age range of 4 through 8 year olds. The text is simple and contains colorful illustrations. Look how many cats are on the page with Mom making the custard! I also find it interesting that Red Riding Hood, her Mom and Grandma all look bloated or over weight, yet they are making custard and bringing it to Grandma.

As simple as the text is, it also uses vocabulary words that may leave a child unsure of its meanings. Some of the words I’m speaking of are: snuff, tarry, lurking and horrid. Not that the words can’t be defined or interrupted, I’m just saying if a child is reading it alone they may just skip over the word without thought or understanding.

One thing I enjoy about this version is that it keeps with the traditional structure of Little Red Riding Hood. James Marshall stays true to the storyline and the characters. Granted there are some surprising twists, such as the hunter arriving and opening up the wolf only for the two characters to be alive and with no harm done. In the end, Red Riding Hood is a story that teaches a lesson to never tell a stranger where you are headed or even talk with one. This story teaches the lesson through fantasy, helping children enjoy reading the story, while learning the importance of what information to keep away from strangers.
31 reviews
November 9, 2014
“Red Riding Hood” by James Marshall is a retelling of the traditional folktale. The illustrations and text add humor to the suspenseful tale. Red Riding Hood encounters a wolf on the way to her grandmother’s house, and is later tricked into thinking the wily wolf is her grandmother. At the end, Red Riding Hood proves she has learned a lesson about talking to strangers.
This is an example of traditional literature because it is based on the Grimm brother’s fairy tale “Little Red Cap”. It has been passed down through the years in countless retellings. The characters in this story are one-dimensional, being either good or evil. It has a “happily ever after” ending where the good characters are rewarded and the evil character is punished.
This book would be most appealing to K-2nd grade students. The grade level equivalent is 4.4, so it would be best for a read aloud for this age group. This story could be used as a starting point to begin a discussion about not talking to strangers. Students could also make predictions about what they think will happen when Red Riding Hood encounters another stranger on the last page. “Red Riding Hood” could also be used for older students as an example of the traditional literature genre. The book could be used for reader’s theater for upper elementary students.
Profile Image for Denise.
17 reviews
October 26, 2017
Most of the Red Riding Hood books have the traditional theme that I have read. However, it wasn't until now that I have realized that the message in this book that can be associated with children is, when you don''t obey your parents, there is consequences. As I read this one to my preschoolers, I explained the importance of being obedient. This has truly helped me when they do something that they were told not to do. These last two weeks has been a piece of cake because no one wants to be in trouble. They now help each other out to avoid consequences. I wish I would have put it together before, even though I always had realized she disobeyed her mom.
Profile Image for Melissa.
65 reviews
March 15, 2010
This is a rather humorous take on the tradition story of Little Red Riding Hood and is written for grades 3-4. Red Riding Hood's mother always told her not to walk with strangers and she decides to go against her mother's advice leading her into a very bad situation. The end of this story contains the humor alluded to above. Discussing how to turn traditional stories into humorous stories would be a great activity. Also, changing the ending of the story might be another good activity for students.
Profile Image for Selwa.
412 reviews
November 7, 2015
I was hoping for something a bit more ... different. From the original story, I mean. I was expecting a plot twist, but this is pretty much a retelling of the Grimm story. For that I'd have given it 2 stars, but man, those illustrations! I know I've said it before (in a different review) but I do adore James Marshall's style of drawing, enough to bump this up to 3 stars!
25 reviews20 followers
December 8, 2018
Marshall, J. (1987). Red riding hood (1st ed.). New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.

Recommended grade level: PreK-2 Ages: 4-8
Format: Traditional Literature
Themes: Folklore, fairy tales, children
Major Awards: N/A

In the book titled, Red Riding Hood, the author creates a story that is a twist on the classic fairytale titled Little Red Riding Hood. The three main characters are Red Riding Hood who is a little girl full of optimism and her grandmother is a woman that does not like to be interrupted while reading and the wolf who seems nice and friendly. Red Riding Hood was on her way to her grandma’s house to give her grandma some dessert when she met a wolf who seemed really nice and friendly, so she told the wolf she was headed to her grandmother’s house. The wolf beats the girl to her grandmother’s house and then acts like her grandmother. The wolf ate the grandmother and red riding hood before the hunter could kill the wolf.

Personal Response:
After reading this book, I thought it may be a little gruesome for smaller students to read. Although I thought of a lot of activities that I could do with this book. After reading the book to the students, I thought about making some alternative endings to the story that were not as gruesome. It would be a fun way for the students to learn about prediction and endings.

The illustrations in Red Riding Hood consist of watercolor and black into line illustrations. With this form of the art style, the characters are brought to life in a cartoonish style that is fun and relatable for lower grade levels. I liked that the artwork was very bright and colorful which made it more appealing to the readers. I did not give this book 5 stars because I felt like there could have been more of an engaging twist to the story that was less gruesome for young readers.

Reader Response/Classroom Connections
The overarching message of Red Riding Hood is that if you do not listen to your wise elders, there may be some serious consequences.
Art: The students could create a drawing like James Marshall’s of their favorite character in the book and give the character characteristics that were in the book.
Mathematics: Students could count how many different colors that they see on each page.
Language Arts: Compare and contrast two different versions of little red riding hood and then have the students write their own version of little red riding hood.
Science: The class could talk about nature and the characteristics of a wolf.
Profile Image for AMY.
2,352 reviews
October 1, 2017
This is the basic folktale story with more details. In this version, mom warns Red not to tarry, speak to any strangers and go straight to Granny's house. She realizes the woods is scary. When she meets the wolf she even repeats her mom's instructions about not speaking to strangers. But the wolf's charming manners convinced her to keep talking with him. She tells all the granny details. The wolf escorts her because "you never know what might be lurking about" - which gives her a false sense of security. She says, "You're too kind" - ironically. She even takes his hand and lets him hold her basket in the picture. The wolf suggests that grannies like flowers and she should pick some, while he runs to granny's house. Note the feet viewed from the window each time. Granny welcomes the wolf in and when he says, "Surprise," she tell him to get out. But the wolf gobbles up Granny without chewing and dresses up, getting into bed. He refers to Red Riding Hood as dessert. Notice the wolf feet in the window. Red notices a dramatic change in her granny. The wolf gobbles up Red and proclaims he is very wicked and pleased with himself. A hunter hears the frightful racket of the wolf's snore and jumps in the window. He kills the sleeping wolf and cuts him open. Out jumps Red and Granny. They are both grateful for the hunter's help. Granny declares it was so dark inside the wolf that she couldn't read a word. Red promises to never, ever speak to another stranger even with charming manners. The last page features an alligator and Red refuses to talk with him. It is a very clever, well-done book. It will bring up a lot of discussion with kids. Highly recommended for Grades K-2.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sarah Callahan.
20 reviews
November 30, 2022

I read Red Riding Hood retold by James Marshall for my graduate studies and it reminded me of the joy of fairy tales. In 2008 it received the Notable Children's Books Award recognizing the notable children’s story told in Red Riding Hood. The story is not reviewed by Social Justice Books but Kirkus Reviews stated, “"A thoroughly modern, thoroughly charming retelling of the old favorite. Witty and direct . . . both Granny and child are swallowed, then rescued intact by the hunter who kills the wolf. . . . A perfect union of words, story, and illustration."

Red Riding Hood’s mother sends her on a mission to deliver custard to her grandmother who is not feeling well. Mother warns her to go straight to Grannys and not to speak to any strangers. As she entered the dark, scary forest a wolf appeared and offered to escort Red Riding Hood to keep her safe. As Little Red begins picking sunflowers, the wolf runs head, tricks Granny and gobbles her up. When Red Riding Hood gets to Granny’s, the wolf disguised as Granny and gobbles her up. A hunter passing by jumps through the window, cuts open the wolf and lets Red Riding Hood and Granny free!

This version of the classic story would best be used in an elementary classroom. One way to use this book in the classroom is as a mentor text for event sequencing. After reading the story students could identify the beginning, middle, and end or first, next, last. This story could also be used in a primary classroom to study setting, analyzing the forest setting and Granny’s house.
16 reviews
March 25, 2021
Red Riding Hood is a re-telling of the classic fairytale that is called Little Red Riding Hood. A young girl named Red Riding Hood is asked to bring her granny some custard to make her feel better, although she must venture through the deep, dark woods. On her way, she encounters a large wolf who speaks to her nicely and offers her to escort her to her Granny’s house. In the end, she is tricked into thinking her grandmother changed into a wolf, but the wolf had eaten her Granny and ends up eating Red Riding Hood as well.

I personally liked this re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood! The illustrations are amazingly done as they are a mix of watercolor, and they make the characters look cartoonish which makes the book fun! I don’t think most readers would be surprised at the storyline or the characters and the ending because it is like many other versions of the traditional tale, although the illustrations are what make this version stand out.

I would recommend this book to children between the ages of four to eight. I would recommend this book to any child who has read a version of Little Red Riding Hood before and has enjoyed it, or for any child who likes fairytales or traditional tales! I also think this book would be great for educational purposes as it teaches a lesson in the end about talking to strangers.

There were no diverse characters in this book.
Profile Image for Beth Wozencraft.
27 reviews
May 15, 2017
I found Red Riding Hood by James Marshall to be a pretty classic interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood. The girl is tasked with delivering her sick grandma food and must journey through the dark woods. While in the dark woods she makes friends with a wolf who beats her to her grandma's house. When the girl arrives the wolf pretends to be her grandma. This all seemed pretty typical of the Little Red Riding Hood story to me. However, I found that it got a little more morbid than I'm used to. The wolf eats the grandma and Little Red Riding Hood until the hunter can kill the wolf and cut out Grandma and Little Red Riding Hood. For this reason I gave the book one less star. I just found it sort of harsh at the end. One thing I did really like about this specific take were the illustrations. The illustrations were vibrant and cartoonish, which I though made the book more appealing especially for children. This book could be used in elementary classrooms while students are learning about fairy tales. I think this would be an interesting book to write an alternative ending for. What would happen if the grandma fought back?
20 reviews
August 11, 2022
The genre of Little Red Riding Hood is a folklore that was adapted by James Marshall. This version is intended for five year old children. This folklore is about a girl who was told by her mother not to talk to strangers and to go straight to her grandmother’s house. Little Red Riding Hood decided to talk to the wolf and tell him where she was going, only to find the wolf at her grandmother’s house when she got there who wanted to eat both her and her grandmother. Luckily they were saved by a hunter and the girl went straight home. I rated this folklore three stars because I do not care for this story. In this version, yes the girl was saved by the hunter. In the original version, both her and her grandmother were killed by the wolf. Yes the author uses vivid illustrations to help engage the reader, however, I do not completely agree with the lesson in this version. I agree it teaches children stranger danger, but the author could have explained further by saying, when you do not listen to your parents bad things can happen. This version is suitable for this age group because it allows them to recall main events from the story and they retell the story in their own words.
Profile Image for Arhely.
26 reviews
May 15, 2017
This is a picture book that was written and illustrated by James Marshall. It is the retelling of the classic story of Little Red Riding Hood by Grimm Brother’s tale.

Main Characters: Red Riding Hood and the Wolf

Granny is sick, so Red Riding Hood has to bring custard to granny’s house. Mother told Red Riding Hood that she should not talk to strangers, but she meets a wolf with charming manners who wants to escort Red Riding Hood to granny’s house. “And where are you going, sweet thing? He said.” Red Riding Hood will find out the reason she should not talk to strangers.

The book is illustrated with boldly cartoon style watercolors. The illustrations contain black thin and tight lines. There is a combination of different lines that create shapes. There is texture and composition that create balance.

This book is recommended for young readers and elementary school children. Teachers can use it as read-out-loud.

C. Temple, M. Martinez, J. Yokota, Children’s Books in Children’s Hands, Fifth Edition, Loose leaf version, Pearson, 2015.
Profile Image for Nicole.
21 reviews
May 20, 2019
James Marshall's retelling and illustrations of the Brother's Grimm Little Red Riding Hood won a Parent's Choice Award. Meant for a younger crowd, K-2nd grade, this version actually sticks to the story line of the Granny and Little Red Riding Hood being eaten and the Hunter cutting them out. Some versions aimed at younger audiences have something different happening to Granny and Little Red than actually getting eaten, but Marshall sticks closer to the orignal script than most.

The illustrations are engaging, play with light and dark, and are cartoon-like, definitely fitting for early elementary. The overall theme of not speaking to strangers is played out. In the end, it is fun to see Little Red Riding Hood has learned her lesson and when she is approached by an alligator, she remembers to not speak to strangers. It would be easy in this version for younger readers to come away with a moral as is custom with traditional literature.

Young students can use this as a mentor text for illustrating and telling a story that teaches a lesson.
32 reviews
October 23, 2019
The book Red Riding Hood by James Marshall is about a young pretty girl going to deliver some baked goods to her sick Granny. Mom tells Red Riding Hood to be careful when she crosses through the dark woods and to not talk to any strangers. As Red Riding Hood travels through the woods a wolf approaches her. The wolf uses his charm to his advantage and walks with Red Riding Hood. When she is distracted, picking sunflowers, the bad wolf runs to Granny's and eats her up. When Red Riding Hood arrives to Granny's house she finds the wold lying her Granny's bed in her cap and glasses. Red Riding Hoos asks why Granny had big eyes, hands, and teeth. The wold gives a reason for every time. He then eats Red Riding Hoood. The wolf is so full after he falls asleep. A hunter passes by and notcies what happened. He kills the wolf and rescues Granny and Red Riding Hood. Red Riding Hood never talks to stragners from now on. This book is good for levels 2-5. You can discuss folk tale and fantasy as a genere. The dynamics that are in this genere. You also can have them write a folktale of their own.
Profile Image for Roger Clarke.
27 reviews
May 15, 2017
This retelling of the classic tale of Red Riding Hood does a good job of presenting the story without any new bells and whistles. The story follow the girl in the red hood who is supposed to bring her ill grandma some treats. Like most picture books, the illustrations do a great job filling in the gaps of what is happening in the story. Also, the pictures do a great job making the story of an mischievous wolf more light-hearted and fun for the intended audience (children). Perhaps one of the lessons for children from the story is not to trust strangers and to do what your parents tell you, as we notice that her mother warned her to hurry and not speak to any strangers. The final page is funny, showing another predatory animal trying to con Red Riding Hood into following her again. This was a fun retelling of a classic folktale with good illustrations to make this a good picture book to recommend.
Profile Image for Meghann Sniffen.
61 reviews
October 23, 2017
Awards the book has received (if any): none
Appropriate grade level(s): pre-k- first
Original 3-line summary: Little Red Riding Hood is about a little girl named Red who walks through the woods to her grandmas house. Along the way she meets a wolf who tries to tempt her. When she gets to her grandmas she discovers her grandma is eaten by the wolf.
Original 3-line review: Little Red Riding Hood is such a classic tale that everyone knows. However I think as times are changing, children may not enjoy this book as much as older people did when they were young.
2-3 possible in-class uses:- teaching children about strangers and that you should ignore them
- use to say about good and bad and how to wolf shouldn't had done what he did.
Profile Image for Amy Layton.
1,641 reviews48 followers
January 12, 2019
This review serves as yet another reminder as to how much I love James Marshall.  His illustrations are brilliant, simplistic, humorous, and his narratives are always so funny, and witty, and genuine.  Red Riding Hood easily falls into these categories.  Marshall takes a humorous and somewhat light-hearted spin on this tale that's so innately sexual and foreboding, and it makes for something much more palatable for young readers less aware of the various, more mature version of Little Red Riding Hood out there in the world.

This book made me laugh and gave me a much needed humorous look at this tale.  And as always with his books, I highly recommend this one.

Review cross-listed here!
36 reviews
February 10, 2019
Genre: Traditional Literature- Fairy Tale
Audience: K-3rd grade
A. Red riding hood is described as "pretty", "kind and considerate, and everybody loved her". Marshall describes the wolf as "large" and "clever" with "such charming manners". At the end of the story Red Riding Hood describes the wolf with "big eyes", "long arms" and "big teeth". The grandmother and the mother aren't distinct enough characters to be explicitly given personality traits.
B. This story is a familiar one that I've heard many times. The spinoff movie "Hoodwinked" is what I've interacted with most recently.
C. I think I would use this as an introduction to fairytales because most children are already familiar with the story.
D. Explain how Granny and Red Riding Hood were saved. Answer: a hunter noticed the wolf in Granny's house and cut it open.
26 reviews
October 21, 2020
Little Red Riding Hood is a traditional book about a little girl visiting a her grandmother that encounters a wolf. Red Riding Hood is probably one of the closest versions of Little Red Riding Hood that I have red. Elisabeth is sent by her mother to take food to her sick grandmother. Elisabeth is told by her mother not to speak to strangers, but of course she does exactly what she is told not to do. Just like the traditional telling of Little Red Riding Hood, there is a sneaky wolf in the story. The difference between this version and the original version, the wolf eats Elisabeth and the grandmother but instead of killing them, they were found inside of the wolf still alive. I love this version of the traditional story Little Red Riding Hood.
95 reviews1 follower
November 27, 2020
This was a nice retelling of Little Red RidingHood where there have been some twists. This book was simple, but also included more complex words that may be harder for children to understand. I think that this version of the book was more for younger kids. The illustrations were beautiful and very cartoon-looking. They were bright and stood out to me. This story gave me the message to never talk to strangers no matter what! You will never know anyone's true intentions. I think that this book would be a great read aloud book as I could think of a few prompting questions to ask while I read this book.
Profile Image for Ellon.
3,253 reviews
October 30, 2017
Used this book to compare Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion as it is a more traditional tale, though still with a happy ending for Red and her grandmother.

It's a cute story. I really enjoyed how the grandmother was so into her reading. It's a little awkward to read the part about the wolf being killed to young children though (especially with the illustration of him laying on the ground). Some of the first graders started calling out that "kill" was a bad word. I've definitely read versions where there is far more violence though.
40 reviews
November 26, 2019
Red riding hoods granny wasn't feeling good so her mom made her some goodies to feel better. As red riding hood is walking through the woods she comes across a charming wolf. The wolf beats her to granny's house and swallows granny whole. Once red riding hood gets there the wolfs tricks her into thinking its her granny, then gobbles her up. The hunter comes along and saves the day and red riding hood learns to never talk to strangers again. I have always been a big fan of this book because it has such a great story to it!
Profile Image for SandyF.
20 reviews
May 15, 2020
Red Riding Hood is a traditional story that has been passed down for many generations. This version had great pictures and colors. It did not look like your typical scary woods like some versions of Red Riding Hood. I think this book is great for all ages from enjoyment to educational purposes. You can use this book to compare it with other versions of Red Riding Hood. I listened to this story on YouTube. The narrator did a nice job reading and really taking his time so I was able to soak in the illustrations.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 193 reviews

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