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Cloaked In Red [Kindle Edition]

Vivian Vande Velde
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

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? Well, then, try your hand at answering these questions: Which character (not including Little Red herself) is the most fashion challenged? Who (not including the wolf) is the scariest? Who (not including Granny) is the most easily scared? Who is the strangest (notice we're not "not including" anyone, because they're all a little off.)? Who (no fair saying "the author") has stuffing for brains? Master storyteller Vivian Vande Velde crafts eight new stories involving one of the world's most beloved (and mixed-up) characters in literature. You may never look at fairy tales in quite the same way again.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7-9–Vande Velde adds to her collection of twisted fairy tales with these eight versions of “Little Red Riding Hood.” Following a tongue-in-cheek author's note in which the author analyzes the premise and characterization in the traditional tale, she asserts that “‘Little Red Riding Hood' is a strange and disturbing story that should probably not be shared with children.” Her new, often creepy personalities and situations are created around the classic narrative and dialogue patterns. One story brings in the woodcutter as a villainous kidnapper of little girls while another introduces Granny as a werewolf. Sarcasm and satire are also present in a couple of the stories with the Brothers Grimm featured as bumbling sons of the woodcutter while in another the red cloak itself is personified to foreshadow the appearance of a notorious red cape belonging to a certain superhero of the 20th century. Through it all, the Little Reds of Vande Velde's imagination prevail and outsmart each new challenge. Bizarrely comedic, this slender anthology will leave older readers with some “ha-ha” moments when reflecting on the absurdity of each new scenario and conclusion. A possible segue into creative-writing workshops and assignments or just another fun read.–Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

After gleefully ripping giant holes in the fabric of the familiar “Little Red Riding Hood” (“We’ll just call our youngest daughter after an article of clothing”), Vande Velde, the Edgar Award–winning author, offers eight quirky versions of her own. LRRH isn’t always the main character in these “once upon a time” yarns, which blend wry contemporary commentary with fractured-fairy-tale elements, quirky horror, and a subtle bit of sensuality. “Deems the Wood Gatherer” stars an exceptionally nearsighted woodcutter who wreaks havoc with several fairy tales; “Granny and Wolf” puts the spotlight on a widow who evades an annoying suitor with the inadvertent help of a wolf; and the main character of “Little Red Riding Hood’s Little Red Riding Hood” is, of course, the famed red cloak. Recognizing the fairy-tale conventions in the various stories is part of the fun, and the wacky tales can easily be used to inspire teens to make up versions of their own. Grades 7-10. --Stephanie Zvirin

Product Details

  • File Size: 686 KB
  • Print Length: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (February 7, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0076N8G9Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,687 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent retellings December 25, 2010
Vivian Vande Velde is one of the most underrated storytellers out there. I adore her books! While her novels are my favorites, she is also a master at crafting a good short story (a rare skill, I find). Cloaked in Red is no exception. With her signature dry wit, VVV has managed to create eight distinct and highly original versions of the, admittedly, rather strange original tale.

Before she beings, VVV treats the reader to a hilarious and sarcastic summary and deconstruction of the original story, complete with explanations on a number of different versions. She points out the absurdities of the original (naming a kid after an article of clothing? Kid can't tell the difference between her own grandmother and an animal?), leaving me rolling with laughter. Usually I skip author's notes, but for some reason I decided to read this one. Piece of advice? Read it! If you're at all unfamiliar with the story, or just need a refresher on the details, she does an excellent job summarizing it. More importantly, the author's note is laugh out loud funny!

Each story follows a different character in the original story: the grandmother, Little Red, the woodcutter, Little Red's mother, the wolf, and even the Red Riding Hood. Sometimes Little Red is bratty, sometimes she's nice, sometimes granny is a victim, and sometimes she is something quite different. Some of the stories are sweet, some are horrifying, but all showcase VVV's wry humor. The real triumph of these stories is that each is unique and I never felt like I was reading the same story over and over again.

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. The whole book is pretty short and can be read in about an hour or two. I do recommend this book to fans of fractured fairy tales or someone looking for a laugh.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Eight Ways to Catch a Wolf November 10, 2011
If you thought Vivian Van Velde had a problem with Rumplestiltskin (Re: The Rumplestiltskin Problem), try Cloaked in Red. In the preface, she makes it clear that not only is the story of Little Red Riding Hood illogical and ultimately flawed, it is full of generally dim nameless people making bad choices. What kind of name for a child, after all, is Little Red Riding Hood? Why is she fooled by a wolf dressed in her grandmother's clothing? Why did her mother send her out into clearly dangerous woods instead of delivering the goodies to Grandma herself?

For the most part, Vande Velde sticks to the formula that made The Rumplestiltskin Problem such a good read: her stories function as an attempt to answer some of the questions she has about the tale. In one story, Grandma herself is a werewolf. In another, she has to hide a tame wolf, her granddaughter Scarlet (who has come despite her parents' instructions), and her annoying woodcutter suitor from each other, in a mess that does involve pretending the wolf is a person.

However, there are also some interesting departures here, sometimes drawing on the plot lines and characters of other stories. Deems the Wood Gatherer, for example, features a near-sighted but helpful sort, who manages to ruin no less than four fairy tales for the protagonists. Another story provides an origin story for the Brothers Grimm, and even Superman gets a mention in one tale.

Overall, fans of the story and those who never really liked it alike should get a kick out of this book. Vande Velde never takes the story as dark as it theoretically could get, but she twists it and pulls it to force it into some sort of reasonable shape. Beatrix Cottonpants thinks it's safe to say you won't look at the story in quite the same way afterward.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ho-hum stories inspired by "Little Red Riding Hood" August 30, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Theologian E. Forrester Church, in an essay entitled "Virtue Uber Alles," suggests an alternate version of the fairy tale "Little Red Riding Hood," told from the wolf's perspective. His point, that prejudice and intolerance often influence how we see the world, is brilliantly reinforced by the wolf's good intentions and the woodcutter's precipitous rash actions. It's a great retelling. Vivian Vande Velde attempts something similar with CLOAKED IN RED, a collection of stories retelling "Little Red Riding Hood" in modern, humorous ways. Unfortunately, her stories lack either the purpose of Church's or anything to particularly interest the reader.

The stories all center on characters and elements inspired by the original "Red Riding Hood" story - young girls, red cloaks, wolves, grandmothers, and woodcutters. In her introduction, Velde points out several problems inherent in the original story, including the absurdity of naming a girl after an article of clothing, as well as the stupidity of parents allowing their young daughter to walk through wolf-infested woods alone. The stories Velde tells in CLOAKED IN RED play with these and other elements of the fairy tale. In one, an introverted young woman named Meg is horrified when her mother dyes her favorite gray cloak bright red. To avoid being seen in the thing, she takes the long way to Granny's house, through the woods, where she has her own run-in with a wolf and woodcutter. In another, an elderly near-sighted "wood gatherer" stumbles across a number of fairy tale characters (including Red) in his blind search for wood. And in the final story, the red cloak itself becomes the central character, with a personality of its own (I liked this one the best of the collection, especially because of a very clever ending).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun & quick read
I always enjoy fairytale re-tellings. This wasn't anything special, but there were a few fun takes on Red Riding Hood and other tales.
Published 26 days ago by Laura
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
A wonderful spin on a traditional fairy tale. The author does a great job of story telling, definitely worth the read! A light entertaining read.
Published 1 month ago by Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars Red Riding is Not What We Thought She Was.
This is a silly little book that I enjoyed. I find my self telling other people about it.
Published 1 month ago by MARG
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay collection of Red Riding Hood retells.
I picked up this book as part of the Fairy Tales Retold Challenge I participated in this year. It was okay. Read more
Published 4 months ago by K. Eckert
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for students
Great book for students. We are using this for our book club at school and the author is skyping with us! We are so excited!!!
Published 5 months ago by Jennifer Farrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars
Love all the different stories of little red. I think Vivian did a good job. I love you Vivian.<3 big fan
Published 13 months ago by Hi
5.0 out of 5 stars IHasCupquake
I LOVED THIS BOOK it was so good. lately I've been obsessed with Little Red Riding Hood story's I gave it 5 stars because it tell tells from different points of views and it tells... Read more
Published 13 months ago by IHasCupquake
5.0 out of 5 stars Making Little Red Riding Hood Make More Sense
Have you ever sat and thought about just how little sense Little Red Riding Hood (and other fairy tales for that matter) makes? Read more
Published 14 months ago by Heather E. Hejduk
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read
Cracked fairy tales are,all the rage these days and all of the stories were interesting twists on the original. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Micheal Harper
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't live up to my expectations
These retellings of Little Red Riding Hood did not quite live up to my expectations. The premise of the book is fun and promising, and the author does have a point that this fairy... Read more
Published 15 months ago by JBebe
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