Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde is another book that snuck by me while I was ill. Several years ago, Vande Velde released The Rumpelstiltskin Problem which was a collection of short stories with different approaches to the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale. Cloaked in Red appears to follow the same inspiration but this time using Little Red Riding Hood. (Once again, I haven't seen a copy. This is more announcement than review.) Vande Velde also previously wrote Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird (Magic Carpet Books), a quirky little book with a few fairy tale reinventions of its own.
Description from the publisher:
So you think you know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the girl with the unfortunate name and the inability to tell the difference between her grandmother and a member of a different species? Well, then, try your hand at answering these questions: Which character (not including Little Red herself) is the most fashion challenged? Who (not including the wolf) is the scariest? Who (not including Granny) is the most easily scared? Who is the strangest (notice we’re not "not including" anyone, because they’re all a little off.)? Who (no fair saying "the author") has stuffing for brains? Master storyteller Vivian Vande Velde crafts eight new stories involving one of the world's most beloved (and mixed-up) characters in literature. You may never look at fairy tales in quite the same way again.And a review from Booklist:
After gleefully ripping giant holes in the fabric of the familiar “Little Red Riding Hood” (“We’ll just call our youngest daughter after an article of clothing”), Vande Velde, the Edgar Award–winning author, offers eight quirky versions of her own. LRRH isn’t always the main character in these “once upon a time” yarns, which blend wry contemporary commentary with fractured-fairy-tale elements, quirky horror, and a subtle bit of sensuality. “Deems the Wood Gatherer” stars an exceptionally nearsighted woodcutter who wreaks havoc with several fairy tales; “Granny and Wolf” puts the spotlight on a widow who evades an annoying suitor with the inadvertent help of a wolf; and the main character of “Little Red Riding Hood’s Little Red Riding Hood” is, of course, the famed red cloak. Recognizing the fairy-tale conventions in the various stories is part of the fun, and the wacky tales can easily be used to inspire teens to make up versions of their own. Grades 7-10. --Stephanie Zvirin