The Little Red Wolf
Written and illustrated by Amélie Fléchais
Translated by Jeremy Melloul
Published by Diamond Book Distributors
Publication date: 3rd October 2017
Age range: 7+ Some darker themes and illustrations so read it and judge your children.
Summary (from Goodreads):
Lose yourself in in the dark forests of Amelie Flechais’ spectacular artwork. A young wolf, on a journey to bring his grandmother a rabbit, is charmed by the nice little girl who offers to help him… but nice is not the same as good. A haunting fairy tale for children and adults alike.
The Little Red Wolf, already forgetting the danger, made his way through the forest without a care in the world, slowly straying further and further away from the trail…
A beautifully-illustrated alternative version of the fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood – the author and illustrator notes that it is ‘loosely-inspired by’ Charles Perrault’s story.
In this story we meet a family of wolves and follow the youngest wolf, Little Red, as he sets off to bring a rabbit to his poorly grandmother. But the wonders of nature are too distracting and he wanders off the path. I loved the whimsical artwork showing his child-like wonder in the animals, plants and weather around him.
Little Red’s mother has warned him to stay away from humans, dreadful creatures he knows only from stories. Yet, when he gets lost, a kind little girl offers to help him out of his predicament….
This is a winner in many ways – beautiful, atmospheric illustrations and a number of twists to the original tale which would make for good discussion matter.
Some of the illustrations and discussions are quite dark so I would advise reading it in advance if you have a particularly sensitive child. However, I would use it in my Year 3 (Age 7-8) classroom alongside looking at lots of different versions of Little Red Riding Hood, an activity which causes children to become more analytical and critical of what they are reading – is any one version the only true version?
“Are you coming? The rabbits are inside!”
The little red wolf trembled, without knowing entirely why, but he listened to her and followed her into the somber home.
What I liked: Love, love, love the artwork – so effective in creating an atmosphere and really draws you into the story. I also like seeing more that has been translated from another language – more of this please publishers! I liked how we are given two versions of the song – from the point of view of the girl and the point of view of the wolves.
Even better if: I would have liked to see the Little Red Wolf’s reaction to the two different versions of the story…and find out what happened to the hunter and his daughter!
How you could use it in your classroom: Discussing versions of fairytales – there are hundreds of Little Red Riding Hood. Why do stories like this exist in different versions all around the world? What is the same and what is different based on the version you know? What is the impact of the illustrations on the mood in the story?
My class have just spent some time looking at different versions of Little Red Riding Hood, before creating their own and it has been fascinating – I have seen them create some powerful drama, make passionate arguments and create effective, polished writing.
(Thank you to Netgalley and Diamond Book Distributors for my electronic review copy)