Kids current on their fairy tales will appreciate the whimsical way Codell spins the basics by adding one oddball element to each story told by a mother to her recalcitrant boy at bedtime. In the tale of the Three Little Pigs, for instance, solar panels make an appearance along with the straw and bricks. After the boy checks off the tried-and-true elements of Little Red Riding Hood�red hood, wolf, and grandma�he has to pause to consider if shampoo can figure into the plot: NOOOOO! Well, maybe. Chavarri�s colorful, almost wordless two-page spreads imagine how the twists impact each story and are packed with details delighted readers will pore over. At Grandma�s Beauty Salon, for instance, several wolves, one wearing a Big �N� Bad T-shirt, are getting their fur pampered. Baskets of goodies are for sale, and Grandma is painting the heroine�s nails with Lil� Red polish. This fun outing will be a surefire winner whenever it�s read�bedtime or not. Preschool-Grade 2. --Karen Cruze
Esme Raji Codell is the author of the best-selling EDUCATING ESME, a memoir for the adult market about her first year teaching in Chicago, as well as several books for kids, including DIARY OF A FAIRY GODMOTHER, HANUKKAH SHMANUKKAH, and SAHARA SPECIAL. This is her first book for Simon and Schuster. You can visit her at www.planetesme.com.
Elisa Chavarri is a freelance illustrator/animator who on most given days can be found working from her studio in her apartment in Northville Michigan which she shares with her husband Matt. She is a native of Lima, Peru. You can visit her at www.elisachavarri.com.