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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Review: Cloaked in Red (Vande Velde)

Title: Cloaked in Red
Author: Vande Velde
Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tales, Fractured Fairy Tales
Pages: 128
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Do you know the story of Little Red Riding Hood?  Have you ever wondered why one of the most well-known fairy tale characters doesn't actually have a name?  And why can't this girl tell the difference between a wolf and her grandmother?  And while we're questioning the logic of this story, what kind of parent lets their little girl go off through the woods alone?  These are all questions that have concerned the author, and the more that I think about it, they are valid questions!  What kind of crazy fairy tale is this and why do we tell our children this story?

In this title, a collection of eight stories, Vande Velde re-imagines the story of Little Red Riding Hood in different settings, from different characters' points-of-view, and with remarkably different endings.  My favorite was the last one in the collection, "Little Red Riding Hood's Little Red Riding Hood," told from the perspective of the actual "Hood."  HILARIOUS!  By the way, the "author's note" that prefaced this book is quite possibly one of the funniest 8 pages of a book I have ever read.

I have always been a fan of Vande Velde, and make it a point to read her new books.  This book was not on my radar, so I was wonderfully surprised when it arrived on my doorstep.  (It was the first book that I read from the box)!  The author has many great books, of the horror/scary stories or fantasy genre.  "Heir Apparent" is her most popular title with EJH students, and spent quite some time on our "hold" list this school year.  My all-time favorite Vande Velde title is "Witch Dreams."

So, in the spirit of this book, what do you think is the strangest fairy tale?

1 comment:

Buried in Books said...

I've read some really weird ones, but I never remember the details- one about a girl that thought her dress was so pretty and she was so worried about it getting spoiled that she never complimented anyone else and stepped on others to cross rivers and swamps instead of getting dirty. Then one day she became the swamp queens's servant and sunk into the swamp and became dirty and ugly- her worst nightmare and only after hundreds of years did she finally see the error of her ways, but she wasn't released from her prison in the swamp. I'm quite sure I left out some important details. Heather


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