Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion
Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion

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Annotation: In this version of Little Red Riding Hood, set on the African plains, Little Red realizes what the Very Hungry Lion is up to, and teaches him a lesson before generously sharing her donuts with him.
Genre: Fairy tales
Catalog Number: #139186
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-545-91438-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-97343-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-545-91438-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-97343-5
Dewey: 398.2
LCCN: 2015027660
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
On Little Red's walk through the African plains to bring "spot medicine" to her auntie Rosie, she encounters hungry Lion. Later, Little Red relies on quick thinking (e.g., braiding the Lion's mane, brushing his teeth, etc.) to elude being devoured. This amusing twist on "Little Red Riding Hood" is vibrantly illustrated in hot shades of yellow and pink.
Kirkus Reviews
In this modern reweaving of "Little Red Riding Hood" set on a modern, fanciful African savanna, read
Publishers Weekly
In a freewheeling reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood, Smith (the Claude series) transplants the story to a contemporary setting in an unspecified African nation and introduces Little Red, a spindly-limbed girl who-s more than a match for the lion standing in for the tale-s traditional wolf. When Little Red-s Auntie Rosie breaks out with spots all over her skin, Little Red leaps to deliver the needed -spot medicine.- Her journey is far more fun than that of her predecessor (-Little Red walked under the giraffes, over the sleepy crocodiles, and past the chattering monkeys-), eventually meeting the lion, who devises a five-step plan for eating Little Red and Auntie Rosie. Smith-s narration is perfectly pitched to be read aloud (-This had not been part of the Lion-s plan,- he writes after Little Red twists his unruly mane into 20+ braids with a bow capping each one), and the vibrantly colored and playfully detailed illustrations are just as entertaining. It-s a spry and very funny retelling with a heroine whose savvy and take-charge attitude carry the day. Ages 3-5. Agency: Arena Illustration. (July)

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2- This retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" set in Africa recasts the wolf as a lion. Little Red's Auntie has broken out in "spots" and asks Little Red to bring her medication. This necessitates a long journey through the jungle. Lion stalks Little Red and develops a plan to eat her and Auntie. Little Red is too smart for Lion and distracts him with delays like grooming his mane into braids. When Lion's ruse is spoiled, Little Red tells him that if he was hungry, "all you had to do was ask for some food." Auntie's spots are healed, Lion's behavior is changed by Little Red's generosity, and all is well. Smith's adaptation is sadly uneven. Average writing accompanies above-average illustrations in a riotously colorful cartoon style. However, the page layout renders the story very choppy, making it ill-suited for reading aloud. Additionally, the cultural representation is half-hearted and awkward. The illustrations depict a wide variety of African animals, but other than Little Red and her family being black, nothing about the story line is particularly "African" other than the lion. Auntie's "spots" and her need for "spot cream" are also nonspecific, and Little Red improbably brings her a snack of doughnuts. VERDICT Niki Daly's Pretty Salma more successfully gives a classic tale an African spin, rendering this one a strictly additional purchase with limited appeal.- Jessica Bushore, Xenia, OH
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
In this modern reweaving of "Little Red Riding Hood" set on a modern, fanciful African savanna, readers meet a young, black Little Red who gracefully outwits the more-hungry-than-horrifying Lion.The Lion imagines his "very-clever-plan" to sneak off to a spots-afflicted Auntie Rosie's house to solve his grumbling tummy, just in time for Little Red to arrive. But of course, the perceptive Little Red instantly notices that the muumuu-clad Lion is not her Auntie Rosie. She forms her own plan to teach the naughty Lion a lesson. She heads first for the Lion's unkempt mane with brush and comb, magically transforming it into a "lovely new look," complete with pink bow-tie barrettes. Those pink bow ties inspire Little Red to find a much prettier dress for him to wear than the muumuu. The annoyed, fed-up Lion bellows his hunger only to be confronted with Little Red's wagging finger as she explains in quick, calming, decisive fashion, "Well, trying to eat children and aunties is VERY naughty. If you were hungry, all you had to do was ask for some food." They reconcile their relationship swiftly with a box of doughnuts as the tale comes to a close. Wonderful, jazzy illustrations feature brilliant oranges, yellows, and pinks underscored by vivid, playful language to add to the intrigue. Little Red is a mite with a red dress and two spectacular pigtails.Great storytelling braided with lively color and a culturally affirming accent makes this book a real standout. (Picture book. 4-8)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Little Red is off to take some medicine to her Auntie Rosie, who has come down with a case of spots. Trailed by her tiny pet goat, she passes the sleepy crocodiles, the chattering monkeys, and the leaping gazelles. Everyone says hi to Little Red, but uh oh! Who's that peeping out from behind the baobab? It's no surprise when the lion takes a shortcut to Rosie's house, puts on a nightgown, and prepares to ambush Little Red. It is a surprise, however, when Little Red flips around "What big teeth you have" to teach Lion a few lessons. First up, "what tangled hair you have!" lovely set of beribboned braids will do the trick. Next up, that nasty maw rush, brush, brush." Finally, that old nightgown has got to go. Startled Lion is not only still hungry (but much prettier); he's tired of being fussed over, and in exchange for a promise to behave, he gets to share a box of doughnuts with Little Red and her aunt. Spectacular, zingy, warm colors, an African setting, fantastic comic timing, and cartoonish, acrobatic lines infuse this updated take on a classic tale with maximum humor and energy. This hilarious retelling is destined for repeat reads.
Word Count: 607
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.0 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 184924 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.5 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q69059
Lexile: AD620L

Little Red is on her way to visit Auntie Rosie with a basket of goodies and some spot medicine. Along the way she meets the Very Hungry Lion. The Lion is eager to gobble up Little Red. The Lion's plan doesn't work out the way he wanted.



Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion is a fractured fairy tale version of Little Red Riding Hood. It's a classic fairy tale with a safari twist!



Alex T. Smith's fun, bold art brings Little Red Riding Hood to life in a refreshing new way that will delight young readers.


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