Hello everyone! No, the SurLaLune Blog isn't dead--it has only been neglected the last several weeks as a family medical crisis and a few demanding projects sucked every moment of my time, energy and sanity into their vortexes. I may not post regularly the rest of the month yet, but I really wanted a new post out there for the world to see I am still here. She's alive!
I first reviewed The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and Grandma by Diane & Christyan Fox almost two years ago. This past weekend as my four-year-old nephew and six-year-old niece stayed over for a sleepover, I desperately combed my shelves for "new(ish) to them" books they would both enjoy. They are well and widely read so that is a challenge, especially if I am looking for books short enough to keep bedtime a reasonable hour. Even my hundreds of picture books were at a lower batting average for our immediate needs Friday night. Fortunately, Kensie doesn't think picture books are below her, but just loves words however they are presented. Yay her! Although she would prefer to have the long, long fairy tale picture books read to her, her brother isn't that interested or patient with those unless there are trucks involved.
Well, this was one of the books that successfully came off the shelf--getting laughter and giggles from both of them--and was demanded as a reread, especially by Clark. He ran up to me the next morning with, "You said you would read this one again in the morning." So we did. He laughed some more and thought it was great fun that Dog thought of Little Red Riding Hood as a Superhero story. He understood all of the humor, laughing without prompting, so he is the perfect age for it now. Kensie had a few triumphs as she was able to read some of the lines herself, too.
From my previous review, which I still stand by especially after testing it with some more kids:
This is one of those picture books that works better for the older kids instead of the preschool set thanks to the humor. With lines about "bad fashion sense" and "kindness rays" and even "exploding eggs," reading this book to a younger preschooler will lead to just as many interrupting questions as the dog himself asks in the story.
So most kids under four-years-old won't appreciate the humor. The text also works well as a read aloud, but the illustrations don't accommodate a story time setting either, say in a kindergarten or 1st grade classroom. But honestly, it will be best appreciated by literate kids who can get some of the jokes on the pages by themselves, such as the Cat's checklist. So it's a read aloud with one or a few children who are a little older and will get the humor. That said, the humor is fun and it's a good book. I'll share a video and illustrations below. A good buy for libraries and an amusing fractured fairy tale interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood for classrooms. Parents with kids who like to ask a lot of questions will also enjoy it out of sympathy for the cat.
A comical twist on "Little Red Riding Hood" told by Cat and Dog!
Cat starts reading "Little Red Riding Hood" and explains, "It's a story about a little girl who always wears a red cape with a hood."
Dog says, "COOL! I love stories about superheroes. What's her special power?"
Cat says, "She doesn't have any special powers. It's not that kind of a story."
And then the fun ensues!
The zany, fun back-and-forth of Dog and Cat celebrates the joy of reading -- and questioning. Young children will cheer Dog's persistent questions as well as Cat's dedication to keep telling the story.