By Author / Illustrator
Oxford University Press
Red is finally old enough to go into the city on her own. One day, she sets off with her trusty dog Woody to take a cake to Grandma, but the city makes Red feel hungry and she eats the cake. Determined to find a new present for Grandma, Red journeys deeper into the city but she is consumed by a seemingly overwhelming amount of choice. Like all children, Red must find her own path and discover what matters the most. This stylish and beautiful book is the perfect gift.
Think you know Red's story? Think you know the wolf This Red has a story of her own.... Red and the City is a clever new take on the famous tale of Little Red Riding Hood. The story begins as all the innovation of this folktale start, with a little girl being tasked with the job of delivering something to her Grandmother. Her mother sets the rules clearly, 'follow the heart flowers, take care crossing the road, stay on the path and don't talk to anybody'. Red sets off fully intending to follow these rules. That is until she begins to feel hungry and ends up eating the whole cake for Grandma. Racked with guilt, Red unwisely heads off path to go and find Grandma another present in the city. Before long, Red has been consumed by the bright lights and distractions around her. Thankfully, with the help of a trusted friend, she comes to her senses and once more finds the path to Grandma's house. The book is a wonderful innovation, with enough elements for children to pick up on to remind them of the famous original. It also teaches them the life lesson of having to sometimes find their own path the hard way, even if that means making a few mistakes along the way. And it reminds them of the importance of having the one friend who is there for you and there to ground you when needed. The most powerful element of this book, however, is the fact that there is no physical wolf. The wolf itself is the city. Through the wonderful illustrations, we can see the wolf's presence in the book and Red is still being lured away from the path by it. Look closely at the skyline, the window frames and even the phone screens - all demonstrating the wolf's presence as Red is stalked along the path. This would generate a lot of discussion with young readers and would prompt many revisits to the pages to see what else could be noticed - all helping develop the further reading skills required by children. I am happily going to introduce this book to my class and I am looking forward to seeing what they notice without too much prompt and input from me. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher.
Suggested Reading Age 5+