There are numerous re-writings of Red Riding Hood, from adult versions by Tanith Lee to rhyming versions by Roald Dahl and whole books based on it like the remarkably funny Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf by Catherine Storr. There is something endlessly fascinating to people about this story in particular, although these days, so many traditional tales are getting a make over. I have to confess that as a small child, I was obsessed by the Ladybird Picture Book version of this tale and used to read and re-read it to myself to scare myself witless. I did it so successfully that my mum hid the book in the end. I think she’d have been much happier if I’d been reading this version, Little Red Hood, by Marjolaine Leray.
This version is not scary. This version is gloriously funny. It’s really simple. It’s really clever. It consists of Leray’s tremendous illustrations which look scribbled and rushed until you see the details unfurling of the scruffy wolf with his snaggle teeth and sharp claws, and the dense blur of scarlet anarchy that is Little Red Hood herself.
I love this book. There’s so much to discover in its deceptively sparse pages and it would be a worthy addition to any child’s book case.