CM . . .
. Volume XVII Number 27. . . .March 18, 2011
It's Not About the Hunter! (Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales).
Veronika Martenova Charles. Illustrated by David Parkins.
Toronto, ON: Tundra, 2010.
56 pp., pbk., $7.99.
Children's stories, Canadian (English).
Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.
Review by Ian Stewart.
"It's Halloween next week," said Jake. "I'm going to dress like a robot. What are you going to wear?" Jake asked Ben and Lily.
"I have a Dracula costume. It comes with huge teeth with bloody pain," said Ben.
Lily said, "I'm going as Little Red Riding Hood."
Bad idea," said Ben.
Why?" asked Lily.
You'll get eaten by the Wolf," said Ben. "Like in the story, you'll need a hunter to save you."
"Huh? What hunter?" asked Lily."That's not how the story goes. Little Red Riding Hood is saved by her magic red cape," she explained.
We all know that Little Red Riding Hood is saved from the Big Bad Wolf by the courageous woodman. Or is she? Young students will be interested to know that there are many variations of the popular story we all heard, read and viewed on TV in our early years.
It's Not About the Hunter! contains three variations of the Little Red Riding Hood story, one French, one Italian and the third Chinese. In the first, Red is saved by a magical cape, in another by a benevolent river spirit, and, in the third, a little boy, instead of a little girl, douses the big bad wolf with boiling oil. In all three stories, the wolf suffers the same gruesome, yet deserved, fate as in the tale North Americans grew up with. This trio of stories will probably be a great source of delight for many students.
It's Not About the Hunter! can be used in any early years' folk tale unit. Some students may have different versions of the story from their own cultural backgrounds they could tell their classmates. Opportunities are opened up for new versions of the tale to be created or modified from other familiar stories.
Let's make the wolf good for a change or, at least, misunderstood.
Ian Stewart teaches at David Livingstone School in Winnipeg, MB.
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