The Little Red Fort
The Little Red Fort

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Annotation: In this adaptation of the Little Red Hen fable, Ruby wants to build a fort, but her three brothers refuse to help, so when the fort is finished Ruby will not let them join her--until the boys come up with a few embellishments for the fort, like a mailbox, a garden, and a fresh coat of paint.
Genre: Fairy tales
Catalog Number: #167828
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Sanchez, Sonia,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-545-85919-0 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-2422-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-545-85919-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-2422-7
Dewey: 398.2
LCCN: 2016045599
Dimensions: 30 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
An inventive child, Ruby finds some old boards and envisions possibilities. "Who will help me build something?" she asks her brothers. Oscar Lee ignores her. Rodrigo gives her "a look that could melt Popsicles," and José almost falls off the fence. They all inform her that she doesn't know how. "Then I'll learn," she says. Using a narrative framework and dialogue inspired by the Little Red Hen, this picture book shows Ruby drawing up plans, gathering supplies, and building a fort (with help from older family members). After the usual climax, the boys paint the fort, add a mailbox, and plant flowers, creating a happy ending for all. An appended do-it-yourself page offers pictures of relatively easy fort-building ideas, one made with sofa cushions and another with blankets draped over bunk beds. In her picture-book debut, Maier judiciously adapts one of the best nursery stories, keeps it simple, and makes it her own. The upbeat mixed-media illustrations are nicely varied in composition and perspective. A lively picture book that's fun to read aloud.
Horn Book
Ruby wants to build a fort. In true "Little Red Hen" fashion, her brothers won't help, so she learns how to do it herself. She enjoys solitary playtime in the completed fort until the boys finally get a clue. Maier's girl-power-meets-classic-folktale story line is engaging and entertaining. Sánchez's colorfully patterned and textured illustrations give dimension to a determined and endearing pigtailed heroine and her realistic multigenerational, multi-skin-toned family.
Kirkus Reviews
Ruby has a pile of boards, a fuzzy idea, and three brothers. And like the little red hen, Ruby's on her own. Her smart-aleck brothers have time for neither their pesky sister nor her project. " ‘Who wants to help me draw the plans?' Ruby asked….‘Not me,' said Oscar Lee. ‘I don't think so,' said Rodrigo. ‘No way,' said José. ‘I'm too busy.' " With the help of her mother and grandmother, Ruby saws and hammers until the backyard fort takes pride of place in the backyard—much to the envious grumblings of the three boys. When Ruby won't let them inside, the brothers paint the fort, add a mailbox, and plant flowers in hopes of a reprieve. "Ruby was delighted." Mollified, she invites them in for a plate of cookies. Barcelonan artist Sánchez incorporates fun details such as the strings of papel picado bedecking the fort and the brothers' chalk art. Her textured illustrations and sense of humor add depth to each dynamic scene. Throughout the story, Maier's little Latina go-getter breaks gender and cultural stereotypes. She outthinks and outperforms the boys. She uses her dad's drafting table and her mom's workshop, and female relatives help build the fort. In light of this, it's too bad the boys don't propitiate Ruby with further gender-norm-defying gestures, instead joining her to eat cookies she evidently has baked. Despite a lost opportunity, a mostly empowering story for children and their parents. (Picture book. 4-8)
Publishers Weekly
In this update of -The Little Red Hen,- debut author Maier casts a dark-haired girl named Ruby as the lead and her older brothers Oscar Lee, Rodrigo, and José as the gang that declines to help her (-No way- is José-s stock reply). Undaunted, Ruby draws plans for a fort, gathers supplies, and assembles the structure without them. Then, of course, they want to use it. The scribbly lines and bright colors contributed by Sanchez (The Curious Cares of Bears) convey exuberance on every page. She pictures Ruby dreaming up her fort in the family bathroom, then consulting her father (who has a drafting board) and her mother (who wields an impressive collection of tools). Even Ruby-s grandmother gets in on the action. Maier keeps her prose spare and preserves the rhythms and taglines of the original (---Fine,- said Ruby. -I-ll hammer them myself.- And she did-). Ruby-s satisfaction is palpable, and readers won-t fail to grasp the message of self-sufficiency. Ages 4-8. Author-s agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator-s agent: Teresa Kietlinski, Bookmark Literary. (Mar.)
Word Count: 392
Reading Level: 1.9
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 1.9 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 193902 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:1.5 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q76852

A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year

* "The Little Red Hen gets an appealing girl-power update...Young makers of all genders will be inspired." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review


Ruby's mind is always full of ideas.

One day, she finds some old boards and decides to build something. She invites her brothers to help, but they just laugh and tell her she doesn't know how to build.

"Then I'll learn," she says.

And she does!

When she creates a dazzling fort that they all want to play in, it is Ruby who has the last laugh.

With sprightly text and winsome pictures, this modern spin on the timeless favorite The Little Red Hen celebrates the pluck and ingenuity of young creators everywhere!


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