Little Red Writing by Joan Holub (Author), Melissa Sweet (Illustrator) was released last week. I received a review copy several weeks ago, but didn't want to discuss it too soon here on the blog.
Acclaimed writer Joan Holub and Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet team up in this hilarious and exuberant retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, in which a brave, little red pencil finds her way through the many perils of writing a story, faces a ravenous pencil sharpener (the Wolf 3000)... and saves the day. Plus, this is a fixed-format version of the book, which looks nearly identical to the print version.
The book is an original retelling of Little Red Riding Hood--I haven't seen it done like this before!--but with the intent of teaching some elemental creative writing principles. In this version, Little Red is a red pencil. Granny is the school principle. And the wolf, well, that would be telling, wouldn't it? Just consider what objects are the biggest threats to pencils and you may guess the wolf. The janitor, by the way, also appears in the woodcutter's role although Little Red saves the day in this version.
Overall, it's a clever book and useful tool for creative writing teachers. The illustrations are intricate and the writing principles are sound and not overly simple so it's a book that can be used and referenced several times by teacher and students, too.
The story that Little Red writes also sounds like it could be written by a talented child--dynamite makes an appearance--and the wolf even looks like a kid's drawing so kudos to Holub and Sweet for capturing that childhood essence, too.
I'm of the Schoolhouse Rock Generation, so the book is also reminiscent of the Grammar Rock series. And, yes, Unpack Your Adjectives started playing in my head after reading this book. Recommended for classrooms and young writers, although experienced writers will have fun with it, too.
And just to share the earworm and show some Schoolhouse Rock love:
But, of course, Lolly, Lolly, Lolly is more pernicious, and more beloved by me: