Great Reads for Teens and Tweens!

Helping you make an informed decision about that book

Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde

on April 27, 2012

Title: Cloaked in Red

Author: Vivian Vande Velde

Publisher: Amazon Children’s Publishing         Year: 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0761457930

Genre: Fiction

Age: 11 and up

Themes / Subjects: Fairytale retelling

Plot Summary:

So you think you know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the girl with the unfortunate name and the inability to tell the difference between her grandmother and a member of a different species? Cloaked in Red is a collection of eight twisted versions of Little Red Riding Hood with creepy personalities and situations that are created around the classic narrative and dialogue patterns.

My Take:

This book is BORING! Not only did it not hold my attention (I started two other books before I even got halfway) but if it weren’t for this blog/review I probably wouldn’t have finished it.

In the preface, she makes it clear that not only does she believe the story of Little Red Riding Hood is illogical, absurd and ultimately flawed, that it is full of generally dim nameless people making bad choices. Um, hello it’s a children’s fairytale and fairytales are chock full of the absurd which is one reason they are so popular.

I found Vivian Vande Velde’s humor to be extremely dry and not sarcastically funny as some other reviewers thought. And I usually like sarcastic humor. The stories were too short and as much as Velde puts down the illogical/absurdity of fairytales seems to draw quite a bit from other fairytales.

So what’s good about this book? In each of the short stories, Velde focused on a different character from the original story: the grandmother, Little Red, the woodcutter, Little Red’s mother, the wolf, and even the Red Riding Hood. While all these stories share a common theme, they are each separate and self-contained so you can easily pick the book up, read a story, and then read something else in between.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars. I think this might be a good book to keep in the bathroom. The stories of short enough that you could easily read on while doing some “paperwork.”

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