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Little Red Writing Hardcover – September 24, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811878694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811878692
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 9.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2–Written with wit, humor, and puns galore, this fractured fairy tale features Little Red, a pencil in search of a story. Given a writing assignment by her teacher Ms. 2, Little Red travels down the story path with a basket of red nouns looking for the kind of tale that will allow her to display bravery and fight evil, “because red is the color of courage. But what would a brave pencil do?” As she journeys around the school, she encounters action words at the gym, descriptive words at the library, etc., until she comes across a long tangly tail that is up to no good. Brave Little Red follows it into Principal Granny's office where she comes upon the Wolf 3000, “the grumpiest, growliest, grindingest pencil sharpener ever made!” This is a book so rich in words and wry humor–written and visual–that one reading just isn't enough. Imagine kids running to the dictionary to look up “bosky” and “tenebrous” after getting bogged down in the dark, descriptive forest (the school library) or poring over Sweet's characteristically engaging watercolor, pencil, and collage illustrations for delicious details, such as the pencil school newspaper with the motto “We get to the point.” These pictures don't merely enhance Holub's clever text, they become a part of it through the use of layered papers upon which the dialogue is literally written in pencil. Little Red's classmates run the gamut of childhood types, each distinguished by its individualized eraser. Creative and fun, this book works equally well for storytime or story writing. Pair it with Janet Stevens's The Little Red Pen (Houghton, 2011) for the full gamut of school-supplies silliness.–Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In this frothy literary folly, parts of speech, pieces of punctuation, and elements of style are sliced and diced and reassembled along the familiar route Little Red Riding Hood took to visit her grandmother. This time around, Ms. 2 informs her class of pencils that they’re writing a story, and Little Red sets off with her basket of 15 words. Along the way she cuts through a dense forest of description, interrupts the run-ons of Conjunction Glue, and verbs her way to Principal Granny’s office, just in time to foil the electrical teeth of the Wolf 3000 pencil sharpener before rescuing the shorter-than-before principal and returning to class to tell her tale. Holub’s circular story, more about the act of telling than the tale itself, finds enthusiastic interpretation in Sweet’s vivid, colorful visual chaos. Words abound, forming the tight font of the narrative, filling in the handwritten word balloons, and decorating the remaining real estate of the school’s walls, signs, cupboards, and bulletin boards. The resulting confusion makes for an easy, winning prompt for beginning writers to abandon their fears and take up pencils of their own. Grades K-3. --Thom Barthelmess

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Customer Reviews

It would be a great story to use for compare and contrast for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students.
Library Girl
Little Red Writing is a clever and whimsical picture book by the prolific author Joan Holub and the very talented illustrator, Melissa Sweet.
Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
There are lots of puns and plays on words that parents and their children will have fun discovering over many readings.
Cynthia Hudson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Pencil school was the perfect place to learn how to become a writer and Ms. 2 was up for teaching everyone how to write. "Today," she exclaimed, "we're going to write a story." Of course everyone was excited and Little Red was raring to go. Ms. 2 set out the outline of a story path on her blackboard for everyone to follow. All the student pencils had a story in mind. Naturally the birthday pencil, state pencil, and the basketball pencil were going to write about those easy peasy things they knew best, but Little Red had a different idea. "I want to write a story about bravery because red is the color of courage," she said to herself. Hmmmm, but just how would she go about telling her story?

Ms. 2 gave Little Red a basket of nouns and reminded her to stick to her "basic story path" so she wouldn't "get lost." Little Red smiled as she took the basket and was on her way ... to writing a very, very boring story. Little Red wanted exciting and so she added a little "verb action" with some bouncing, a bit of boogie woogie, and cartwheeling. She had to watch those adjectives, had to clip a bit of the story, and watch those run-on sentences. Of course those adverbs were there to help, but soon Little Red found danger along her story path. "Greetings, little pencil. Grrrreat to see you," growled out Principal Granny between those sharp teeth. Was Little Red so far off the beaten story path that someone or something was going to eat her up?

This is a charming retold story of Little Red Riding Hood, who took up a little writing. Naturally there is such a thing as a reluctant reader, but even more commonly we find those reluctant writers hiding out in classrooms.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Great Kid Books on October 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fractured fairy tales absolutely delight my students. They love knowing what's coming and then seeing the story twist and turn in unexpected ways. Little Red Writing is full of puns, wordplay and creative twists that kids and adults will love.

I absolutely adore the way the text and pictures play off each other in this picture book. Melissa Sweet incorporates descriptive words, dialog and signs throughout her illustrations -- making the words an integral part of the pictures. Joan Holub's puns never overwhelm the story. Children know right where it's headed (of course, Little Red runs into trouble! We know the wolf is waiting for her!!). Teachers will love the way Holub incorporates writing advice - I'm sure that it will be a classic in many elementary classrooms. But really, what draws me back to this again and again is the sheer delight in Little Red's adventure.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Library Girl on September 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This story is cleverly written and illustrated. It would be a great story to use for compare and contrast for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students. It also would be a good story to get kids excited about writing especially with writing tests. The kids will love the humor and use of idioms and puns. I can't wait to read it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Anne Heiner VINE VOICE on October 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The book is an original retelling of Little Red Riding Hood--I haven't seen it done like this before!--but with the intent of teaching some elemental creative writing principles. In this version, Little Red is a red pencil. Granny is the school principle. And the wolf, well, that would be telling, wouldn't it? Just consider what objects are the biggest threats to pencils and you may guess the wolf. The janitor, by the way, also appears in the woodcutter's role although Little Red saves the day in this version.

Overall, it's a clever book and useful tool for creative writing teachers. The illustrations are intricate and the writing principles are sound and not overly simple so it's a book that can be used and referenced several times by teacher and students, too.

The story that Little Red writes also sounds like it could be written by a talented child--dynamite makes an appearance--and the wolf even looks like a kid's drawing so kudos to Holub and Sweet for capturing that childhood essence, too.

I'm of the Schoolhouse Rock Generation, so the book is also reminiscent of the Grammar Rock series. Recommended for classrooms and young writers, although experienced writers will have fun with it, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia M. Hopp on January 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book made me laugh!! It is a great teaching book for writing and use of adjectives. Would recommend to all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A Lewis on December 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great way to introduce grammar, punctuation, writing tips in an entertaining manner. We used it as an intro for creative writing for our first graders in a Montessori classroom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By La Hane on December 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter loves this book, learned some new words, and was even inspired by it to start writing more. She already writes, but I think she likes that "Red" is a brave girl pencil.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kristine M. on December 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We love Melissa Sweet's other books and this one was such a fun read. Teaching children the basics of sentence and story structure.
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