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Pretty Salma: A Little Red Riding Hood Story from Africa Hardcover – April 15, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3—Daly's boldly colored illustrations perfectly match this West African incarnation of the classic story. Pretty Salma is sent to the market by her grandmother and told to come straight home, but she takes a shortcut through the wild part of town and encounters Mr. Dog, who tricks her out of her basket, sandals, ntama, scarf, and beads. Mr. Dog scares Salma off and he goes to Granny's house to trick her. Meanwhile, Salma finds her grandfather in his Anansi costume telling stories in the village square and the two of them quickly set off to rescue Granny. The cartoon-style paintings capture the sights and flavor of the setting and add dimension and humorous details to this modern version of a timeless tale. Enjoyable on its own, this story would be especially fun combined with and compared to the many other "Little Red" stories available.—Genevieve Gallagher, Murray Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In this playful fractured fairy tale set in Ghana, Salma encounters big, bad Mr. Dog while she is shopping on the wild side of town. Ignoring Granny's message ("Don't talk to strangers"), she is tricked into giving him her pretty things. He then tricks Granny into thinking he is Salma. But Salma dresses up with the mask of the bogeyman, and with help from storyteller Grandpa, she sends the bad dog on his way. Daly's line-and-watercolor art, more folkloric than that in his popular Jamela's Dress (1999), shows a mixture of the traditional and the contemporary in a Ghanaian urban setting--a man in a Western-style suit with a briefcase walks next to a woman carrying her shopping on her head. Add this lively version to other comic retellings of the Red Riding Hood story and other beloved tales. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: AD640L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books; First American Edition edition (April 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618723455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618723454
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.3 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In retelling "Little Red Riding Hood" in a modern, urban African setting, Niki Daly gives an old story a new spin, and makes contemporary African life a little more tangible to non-African readers. As a fairy-tale, though, the story is a bit intense: taking Red out of the distant, mythical woods and placing her instead in the much more tangible, menacing setting of the Accra marketplace, into a big city with a "wild side of town," makes the story's don't-talk-to-strangers message much more scary and real. For that reason, I'd recommend this for older kids, but not preschoolers or kindergarteners... But if you're looking for a multicultural, world-outside offering, this is a good choice. (ReadThatAgain)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This version of Red Riding Hood takes place in a city, with a black protagonist. Well, I live in a city, and my nieces are black, so I decided to take a chance and get this book sight unseen. (Besides, I've liked other books by this author, though they're a vastly different style!)

This one is great. First, the wolf (the dog) tricks Salma out of her clothes, then he goes to her home to steal her food. Meanwhile, Salma doesn't just wait for rescue, she goes and gets help! So everybody is saved and learns their moral lesson. Otherwise, it's the story you know. No violence in this version.
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Format: Hardcover
Pretty Salma lives with her grandparents in town and knows the rules about talking to strangers - but when Granny asks her to do the marketing Mr. Dog tricks her into talking to him - and tricks her out of some other things, too. Suddenly he's on his way to Granny's house - in her clothing. Disaster is on the horizon until Salma figures out how to thwart trouble in this fine 'Red Riding Hood' tale from Africa, perfect for picturebook collections seeking multicultural representations of folk stories.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book when I was doing a unit in my kindergarten classroom using a variety of Little Red Riding Hood stories to compare literature. This was a great alternate version, and provided diversity for my culturally diverse classroom. My students LOVED this book, and wanted me to read it over and over. They also all wanted to read it during quiet time, and I even considered buying a second copy for them to share. They definitely liked this version better than the original Little Red Riding Hood story that they've all heard time and time again. I love this book as well, its a great story, and beautiful illustrations.
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Format: Hardcover
I have had this book for some time now, and I must say, my daughter absolutely loves it. She recites her own version of Pretty Salma's song as we read it together. In fact, she can tell the whole story by heart. I don't have to read it at all. The pictures are colorful and this book is a wonderful way to teach your youngster about the dangers of talking to strangers and being disobedient. This book would make a great addition to any child's library!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very fun book to read. There are fun songs and one liners said by the dog and granny. The art and story set in modern Africa are spot on to experiences I've had in Jamaica with regards to the wild side of town. Definitely a recommended read and much more fun than the standard red riding hood story. Our favorite section is sounding out the big scare where the different instruments get sounded out - goema, goema; shooka, shooka!
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