Friday, September 30, 2016

PPBF: Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick


Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion, by Alex T. Smith
Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion

Written and illustrated by Alex T. Smith

Scholastic Press, 2015
Ages 4-8, AD740L


Themes:
Fractured Folk Tale, Bravery


Opening:
"This is Little Red. Today she is going to be gobbled up by a lion."


Synopsis:
The story takes place somewhere in Africa and in this twisted tale, Little Red must take medicine to her Auntie Rose who has contracted a terrible case of the spots. Clever Red is not part of the hungry lion's very-clever-plan. Nor is having his mane tied in bows, getting his grotty teeth brushed, or being reprimanded for his bad manners. The solution to a lion problem may be easier than you think, but can this naughty lion change his ways?

What I Love:
I love the setting and the bright colors and the quirky, cartoon style. The story is not just an African Red Riding Hood. The cheeky humor is not just slapstick or over-the-top nonsense. This is a well-thought-out, well executed twist on an old classic with a terrific ending. The first of Alex Smith's books I've read, but not the last.

Bonus: 

Reese's peanut butter lions from Hungry Happenings

1. Learn more about Alex with interviews from Wee Red Writer, Arena Illustration, and One Word At A Time

2. Want more info? here's the Kirkus review of this book.

3. It's hard to resist lions made from Reese's peanut butter cups like those found on Family Fun cupcakes.

4. This book was shortlisted for the North Somerset Teachers Book Award.

5. Want more silly tales with an African flavor? Try Tinga Tinga Tales. Website, App, TV show. It's buckets of fun.

6. Enjoy more traditional folk tales from various countries in Africa free from the Fairy Tales of the World online collection.

6. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.


Reviewed by Julie
Reviewed by Stacy
 
Reviewed by Susanna
Reviewed by Wendy
 
Reviewed by Catherine
Reviewed by Joanne

 
Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, September 30, 2016 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

18 comments:

  1. I adore retellings of fairy tales, especially retellings from other countries. Their added culture and setting adds freshness and new appeal. Thanks for letting us know about this book. I'm adding it to my library list.

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    1. I was so happy to find it at our local book fair and to add it to the school library. Thanks.

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  2. Fractured fairy tales are definitely in, but this sure sounds to be more unusual and smart!

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    1. Smart is a good adjective. From what I've heard, this is a good example of Alex Smith's style. It was the first of his books I've encountered, so if that's true, I'll be looking for more of his work.

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  3. I love the African twist on this tale. Little Red looks very courageous and witty. Great share today.

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    1. She is a lovely, fresh, clever heroine. Thanks for reading.

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  4. What a great cover -- very appealing! This sounds like a fun twist on the tale.

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    1. I hope readers are drawn to it, too. Thanks.

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  5. Terrific, Joanne...this is like a combination folk tale/fairy tale...with a great twist and super art...thanks for sharing it!

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    1. It definitely belongs on the list. Thanks for your thoughts.

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  6. Well that opening line certainly grabs you doesn't it?! This sounds like a super creative take on the old tale. Wish I'd thought of it! Thanks for the review.

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    1. Yes it does. It sets the tone for the type of humor and treats the reader as intelligent. Lovin' it.

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  7. Love the cultural theme on this one. Interested to read the twist. Cute cover. Thanks Joanne.

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    1. I love thhe last page . . . Like a monk's reward in a Marvel movie.

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  8. I love reading different takes on a traditional story. This looks fun, and the art looks so vibrant.

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    1. Vibrant and quirky! But in a good way. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

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  9. Interesting that this was written by a white author from the UK. Do you know if this was based on a real African tale or something he invented?

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    1. Um, no, it's based on The tale of Little Red Riding Hood which we know as German, but was probably originally Italian. This version takes place in an unnamed country in Africa. The dwellings, the clothing, some of the slang, and, well, the lion are pretty specific. I'll have to ask Alex where it takes place. Thanks for your thoughts.

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Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!