Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Little Red - A Favourite Tale With a Twist by David Roberts and Lynn Roberts (Pavilion Books)

It's another very busy week where we're extremely hard pressed to choose between some truly fabulous books for our coveted "Book of the Week".

Books like "Little Red - A Favourite Tale with a Twist" show that re-telling classic stories needn't mean merely treading in someone else's familiar footsteps so when I saw Charlotte pick out this, I figured we'd be in for yet another treatment of Little Red Riding Hood.

How wrong I was. My little girl obviously has brilliant taste as she managed to find a version of the story that delivered what it promised, a favourite tale with a twist.

Of course it would be rude of us to reveal what that twist actually is - we'd rather you went and read the book and found out for yourself, suffice to say that Little Red is actually a boy who takes a basket of treats to his lovely old grandmother once a week. Aside from the gender swap it's fairly familiar so far, right?

Of course you probably know how part of the rest of the story goes. Little Red is warned not to stray too far from the path to Granny's house, for fear of the wicked wolf that lives in the forest.

Little Red loves his Granny very much so when he spies some beautiful red apples just off the path, the stern advice previously given is completely forgotten.

We'd be dipping too far into spoiler territory to tell you much more but what struck us both with this book was how many exquisite little details and how many brilliant nods to other stories we see worked into "Little Red". You could spend all day picking out the rather harrowing faces in the trees (and in any wooden objects in the book's various beautifully designed and painted panels).

It's a gorgeous book, with a hint of the Tim Burton about it (no bad thing!) and a whole ton of charm. We've since heard that David and Lynn Roberts rather excel at this sort of reinvention of classic tales and have reworked several, including Cinderella rendered with a 70s disco theme. Now THAT we really must see!

Charlotte's best bit: She was so intrigued by finding all those knotty little faces on trees and wood, and also rather liked the (slightly gruesome) contents of Little Red's larder

Daddy's favourite bit: A brilliant retelling of a fairy tale that seems to be staple fodder for youngsters. Told in a new and interesting way but with classic artwork full of humour and detail.