The first picture book I read this year gives me a story about a little wolf in a red cloak travelling through the wood to visit his grandmother.
What does that remind you of?
The Little Red Wolf is a children’s picture book that’s inspired by Charles Perrault’s fairytale Little Red Riding Hood.
It was originally published in French but was translated to English by Jeremy Melloul. The English version was published in October 2017. (Goodreads)
I didn’t know what I was getting into when I borrowed this book from the library, but I was delighted by what I read. I became aware of the book through booktube so when I saw it at the library, I grabbed it.
The Little Red Wolf gives us a Little Red Riding Hood story with a twist — it’s from the perspective of a wolf. I don’t believe that’s a spoiler since you can deduce that much from the cover. It’s a sweet, charming tale about a little wolf travelling through the forest to his grandmother’s home to bring her some food since she has lost all her teeth and can no longer hunt.
I loved the story and loved the little wolf. I enjoyed reading about the pickle he found himself in and liked the changes Fléchais made to the fairytale to tell this story. I think my favorite part is when the little wolf gets hungry and slowly eats all his grandmother’s food while trying to justify what he’s doing. He’s such a sweet little wolf.
I loved it! It’s dreamy and enhances the whimsical tone of the story. I love that the illustration style varies throughout. Sometimes it’s simple, other times it’s so detailed that I have to stop a moment to take it all in.
It’s like a dream to me. The early illustrations, when the little wolf is happy and carefree, are full of light and colors and images that seem to become more definite with the turn of each page. I love that from there the colors and images become dark and menacing, like a nightmare, to match the situation the little wolf is in (trapped) and his emotions (afraid). I even love the close-ups of the villains, which struck me as unsettling (the young one) and threatening (the older one), and how the little wolf’s parents are drawn. They are so regal.
My favorite thing about the art are the colors. They make the images pop off the page and attract the reader’s eye. They are bright, but not overpowering, and are well-balanced so that red of the little wolf’s cloak easily stands out among them. I also love that as the story gets darker, the colors bleed away until we’re left with just black, white, and shades of gray in various tones to depict the nightmare the little wolf is in.
I wish I knew what medium Fléchais used for the illustrations. I love how the colors bleed and smear in certain areas because it adds to the dreamy quality of the story. However, that makes me think that she probably used watercolor for part if not the entire book. I wish the publisher had included a note about this in the book.
Overall: ★★★★☆ ½
The story is great and so too is the art. I consider this one a favorite because I love both the art and the story. I would have given it 5 stars, but I took half a star off because the ending was abrupt to me and thus a little unsatisfying.
Buy | Borrow | Bypass
I need to get myself a copy.