Author: Beni Montresor
Genre: Animals / Fairy Tale / Classic / Horror / Strangers
Year Published: 1991
Year Read: 2014
Publisher: Double Day
Content Rating: Ages 6+ (Some Suggestive Moments and Some Scary Moments)
I have been reading “Little Red Riding Hood” ever since I was a child and the version that was always read to me was the “sweet, politically correct, sanitized version where everybody lives happily ever after!”
The version I just recently picked up, which is the original text written by Charles Perrault and features illustrations by Beni Montresor, IS NOT the sweet, politically correct and sanitized version that I had grown up with for many years now! I will explain more about this book as I give my thoughts on this particular version of the classic fairy tale, because it is definitely one heck of a doozy!
Basically, the story starts off with a young girl who was known as Little Red Riding Hood due to her always wearing a red cape that was made for her by her grandmother. One day, Little Red Riding Hood’s mother asked Little Red Riding Hood to go to her grandmother’s house and give her a cake and a pot of butter to make her well again. Along the way, Little Red Riding Hood meets up with a gentleman wolf who asks Little Red Riding Hood where she was going and Little Red Riding Hood tells the wolf that she is going to visit her grandmother who is sick in bed. While Little Red Riding Hood picks up flowers for her grandmother in the woods, the Wolf rushes to the grandmother’s house and eats her up when he comes inside the house. Then the wolf dresses himself up in the grandmother’s nighttime clothes and lies in bed until Little Red Riding Hood arrives. When Little Red Riding Hood finally arrives at her grandmother’s house, she opens the door and…
What will happen to Little Red Riding Hood?
Read this book to find out!
Alright, so I basically explained about the story of “Little Red Riding Hood” and since this was a story that was retold over and over again by different generations; I think everyone knows this story already. The only thing different about this version of the classic fairy tale is how the story ends, but I will save that for the cons section of my review! What I really enjoyed about this version of “Little Red Riding Hood” is that we actually get a darker and grimmer version of the classic tale since I had grown up with the “clean” version for so long and it was nice to see a different take on this tale, even though this is technically the original version of the fairy tale. I also really enjoyed Beni Montresor’s illustrations as they are both gorgeous and creepy to look at, especially during the scenes with the wolf preying on Little Red Riding Hood as it makes him look truly scary throughout the book.
The reason why I took off half a star from my rating is because I felt that the ending was a little too abrupt for my tastes, even though this version is darker than the more child friendly version of this tale.
In other words, this version ends with Little Red Riding Hood being eaten by the wolf and we do not see the scene where the huntsman rescues Little Red Riding Hood even though it is implied at the end that the huntsman does show up eventually.
Even though I like the fact that this ending is a lot darker than what we are used to, I would have loved to see some kind of closure with the characters or at least have the book end on a more completed note.
Overall, “Little Red Riding Hood” is a great book to read if you want to check out Charles Perrault’s original story and if you want to read a grimmer version of the classic fairy tale! I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since the ending might scare younger children.