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The Little Red Hen (Paul Galdone Classics) Paperback – March 18, 1985
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About the Author
Paul Galdone was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1907 and emigrated to the United States in 1928. After finishing his studies at the Art Student League and the New York School of Industrial Design, Mr. Galdone worked in the art department of a major publishing house. There he was introduced to the process of bookmaking, an activity that was soon to become his lifelong career. Before his death in 1986, Mr. Galdone illustrated almost three hundred books, many of which he himself wrote or retold. He is fondly remembered for his contemporary style, bright earthy humor, and action-filled illustrations, which will continue to delight for generations to come.
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As for the story, I liked this version better than I thought I would. Although it is somewhat modified from the original story, this version is simple and entertaining to read. After the cat, dog and pig don't help with every step leading up to the finished cake, the Little Red Hen does NOT share the cake, which is an important part of the moral and lesson of the story. But, on the next and last page of the book, the cat, dog and pig have all become "very eager helpers" "whenever there was work to be done." That is a nice addition to the abrupt end of the original story.
UPDATE: Amazon.com shipped a replacement book at no cost. That WOULD have been fantastic service, but the replacement was also shipped in a soft envelop with no protection, and the replacement book ALSO ARRIVED BENT AND DAMAGED. I am downgrading my rating from 3 starts to 1 star because of the extremely bad packaging. Don't buy this book from Amazon.com if you are planning to give it as a gift, as I was.
Moreover, Galdone's illustrations make this book interesting, and very pleasant to read time and again. The sloth of the dog, cat and mouse are depicted in the most amusing detail, as is every nook and cranny of the house these unlikely four share. The Little Red Hen herself wears a persnickety expression throughout many of the illustrations, and I like the way that casts her in a slightly less glowing light. It adds a sort of complexity to the story. The book ends on the note of the dog, cat and mouse doing a great deal more to help out after the experience and leaves you with an image of each of them, looking properly shamed, whilst donning aprons and cleaning the house.
If you're looking for the ideal version of this story, Paul Galdone has certainly created it.