Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens!
Cloaked in Red
by Vivian Vande Velde
Checked out of my work library

Summary from author's website
Presents eight twists on the traditional tale of Little Red Riding Hood, exploring such issues as why most characters seem dim-witted and what, exactly, is the theme.

My Thoughts
I love anthologies that have a theme, like the editorial team of Datlow and Windling. Vivian Vande Velde is no stranger to this type of anthology in her work, such as The Rumpelstiltskin Problem. I was highly anticipating her latest project because I always enjoy her books (even if the endings are a bit vague sometimes) and I love the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Vande Velde asks many interesting questions about the original stories that tweens might think up themselves, especially if they had just seen the newest movie.

Here is an excerpt from her author's note:


Everyone knows the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the girl with the unfortunate name and the inability to tell the difference between her grandmother and a member of a different species.
The question is: Why do we all know it?
If you look at "Little Red Riding Hood," it's a perfect example of the exact opposite of a good story.
There are different versions, but they all start with a mother who sends her daughter into the woods, where there is not only a wolf, but a talking, cross-dressing wolf. We are never told Little Red Riding Hood's age, but her actions clearly show that she is much too young, or too dimwitted, to be allowed out of the house alone.
But apparently Little Red's mom hasn't noticed this.
When I was a little girl, my mother was nervous about my crossing the street without adult supervision. But fairy-tale characters do not make good role models. Goldilocks' parents not only let let her play in the bear-infested woods, they neglect to give her that most basic advice: "Don't break into strangers' homes."

Her stories follow this vein and I giggled quite a few times at the silliness of some of the characters we seem to know. I was also amazing at how different each story felt in tone and character development. It is a short but fun read. I was able to read this over two lunch breaks! Many tweens will enjoy the deconstruction of a well-known fairy tale!


  1. Yay for Vivian Vande Velde! I love her books and this latest was no exception. I'm with you, I was giggling and amazed at how distinct she was able to make each story.

  2. I read a couple of the stories from this one on break one day at work. It was lots of fun! She has another one about Rumpelstiltskin that one of my co-workers recommended.


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