One hell of a title, huh? Retellings have always been popular in the book world and this popularity is showing no sign of wavering. Perhaps the best current example of how bibliophiles long to hear stories they love retold is the Shakespeare project by Hogarth Press, which kicked off late last year and which sees well known authors retelling Shakespeare plays. I believe there’s only one book from this project that has been released so far, Jeanette Winterson’s The Gap of Time which retells The Winter’s Tale (Check it out). However, not all brilliant retellings have to stem from works of such magnitude, which Diane and Christyan Fox prove with this ridiculously funny picture book. Diane and Christyan are a husband-and-wife team best known for the PiggyWiggy books, a heavily cartoonized and kid friendly series often set around themes of early child development. The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and Grandma isn’t just a whimsical retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, it’s also a depiction of the sometimes frustrating task of storytelling.
‘So, let’s see if I have this right…
The Red Hood is on her way to help an old lady when she meets the Wolfman, whose evil plan it is to eat all the old ladies in the world because he likes dressing up in girls’ clothes. He and red have a big battle over the dainties and Red’s father chops Wolfie with an axe.’
To put it briefly, Cat is trying to tell Dog the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but Dog is struggling with the overall plot. No matter how many times Cat corrects Dog, Dog can’t stop sensationalising the story. In Dog’s head Little Red must be super hero who’s armed with exploding eggs and fighting against the formidable evildoer – Wolfman!
This book put a big smile on my face. I can see the kids laughing at Dog’s MARVELous twist on this well known tale. I think the older-readers will get a special kick out of this one too. I’m sure those who have read to young children before will be familiar with how children love to question and often put their own flavor on a story, so perhaps this book will evoke a little déjà vu.
Check out some more work from the Fox duo: http://www.christyanfox.co.uk/
BB Rating: 3.7/5
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