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WANTED...Red!!! Little Red Riding Hood

'Twosday' pairs are a hashtag under which I share a pair of books that I have paired for different reasons...posted on a Tuesday.

This weeks pair was: .

Over the past few weeks I have been looking at fractured fairytales with my Pheonix group at Redwood Montessori. They are around 9-10 years of age but bright as buttons and have been with me for the past 4 years.

We explored two traditional fairy tales so far, exploring ways in which they had been fractured or could be fractured.

For this class, I chose to concentrate on Little Red Riding Hood.

The children were familiar with the original tale and a round robin retelling, soon refreshed everyones memories.

The books were paired to look at Little Red Riding Hood through different approaches.

1. Little Red....a fractured tale.

2. Lon Po Po...a traditional Chinese version.

It always fascinates me to see how stories have travelled all around the world. Is it through the mouths of travellers or is our human experience that is rather similar across the globe that explains the similarity in the story lines?

I love exploring these different versions with my students...given that fairy tales started out as stories for adults and what we read are sanitised versions of the tales, I enjoy the children's take on these stories.

The first book we looked at was LITTLE RED by Bethan Woollvin is a fractured version of the traditional tale with a very empowered Little Red Riding Hood (LRRH). It is is laced with dark humour and I thought very cleverly written, but my students found the ‘empowered girl’ trope too forced through the repetitive line ”Which might have scared some little girls, but not this little girl.”

I love when children share their views and notice details that we adults may assume are great for them…but they are able to discern what works and what doesn’t, for themselves. The stylised art which appealed to me immensely, was not much appreciated by the children. Again another very adult choice of illustrations, which may or may not necessarily work for the children. . They were much more appreciative of the traditional Chinese version of the fairy tale…. LON PO PO by Ed Young. The clever children and their quick thinking seemed to reach them better than the modern, feminist take.

However, they were a bit confused by the atmospheric Caldecott winning illustrations….again something I loved.

We fractured The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood, to create new villains for these stories, creating wanted posters to boot. I must mention that the children were not too familiar with the concept of ‘WANTED’ posters, and I had to explain to them, giving examples from possible films they may have seen them in. Click right to see the children's responses.


The books that I used for The Tree Little Pigs:

1. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Sciezska

2. The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas

3. The Three Pigs by David Wiesner


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