Fairytale characters? Check! Figure skates? Check! Tons of twizzles, turns, and arabesques? Check, check, check! I recently picked up Little Red Gliding Hood, written by Tara Lazar and illustrated by Troy Cummings, and oh what a treat it is! This picture book is jam-packed with humor, suspense, and fun figure skating moves to keep you warm and toasty. I’m a sucker for fractured fairytales and this one’s got me gushing like crazy.
Synopsis: It’s winter and there’s a pairs skating competition in town. The grand prize: a new pair of skates! Little Red Gliding Hood can’t wait to enter, but she has just one problem: she can’t find a partner. Little Red glides off to Grandma’s house for some help and she is soon chased by a sly, furry character. Will this notorious canine gobble up Little Red? What does he want? I wouldn’t dare spoil the fun…
This PB is one fun word fest! It’s an entertaining read-aloud filled with beautifully crafted sentences. The wonderful Tara Lazar (creator of PiBoIdMo) uses tons of assonance, consonance, alliteration, and rhyme. Essentially, the words glide off your tongue like a figure skater across freshly Zambonied ice. One of my favorite repeated phrases is “swizzled and twizzled across the ice.” Doesn’t that just make you smile?
I also love the fracturing of different fairytales. Tara masterfully incorporates famous lines throughout the PB, but with twists that swizzle and twizzle humor into the scenes. This line, coupled with the illustration, made me sing AND laugh: “Old MacDonald slipped and fell. ‘E-I-E-I-ouch!'” And sweet ol’ Grandma’s dialogue plays on Goldilocks and the Three Bears: “I bet Baby Bear would be just right for you.” Genius!
Troy Cummings’ vibrant illustrations are the perferct-10 complement to the colorful words. The pictures are wintry, bright, and add pizazz to long-known fairytale characters. The first spread is masterful—the frozen river not only shows the reader which stanza to read next, but also leads the eye to intricate details of the winter wonderland. My favorite illustration of all shows the Three Little Pigs’ house, which looks like a giant pig. The chimney is even shaped like a pig’s curly-Q tail!
The cherry on top of this PB is the twist and reminder that things aren’t always as big and bad as they seem. I recommend Little Red Gliding Hood to all lovers of winter, fairytale humor, and figure skating. It’s a read that’ll have you tossing flowers and teddy bears in adoration!