“Once upon a time,” Violet said, “a brave little girl and her brother set out on a perilous journey.”
In this mash up of Little Red Riding Hood and Where the Wild Things Are, a girl and her baby brother travel through her apartment building to take soup and cookies to a neighbor.
"Grabill swaps the forest for an apartment building in this contemporary story-within-a-story spin on “Little Red Riding Hood.” ... the playful expressions on the children’s faces make it clear that Violet is (mostly) in control of her story—and its happy ending." (Publishers Weekly)
PreS-K–Violet and her brother are going to visit their sick neighbor Papa Jean-Louis to bring him some cookies and soup. Violet pulls their red wagon through the halls of their apartment building, which has suddenly turned into a dark and creepy forest with a hungry wolf out to get them. Tall trees surround them and a shadowy wolf figure seems to be following behind. Just when they think they’ve safely made it to Papa Jean-Louis’s apartment, the children realize that the figure sitting on the couch under a blanket with big eyes, furry ears, and sharp teeth isn’t Papa Jean-Louis. It’s a cookie eating wolf! Tolstikova’s illustrations seamlessly show the children’s wild imaginations taking shape over the setting of their apartment building, with creepy trees and shadows laid over the seemingly normal hallways and doors. The story’s dénouement is charmingly reminiscent of “Little Red Riding Hood.” This book is great for one-on-one or small group sharing where kids can discuss what’s imaginary and real. VERDICT A fun, lighthearted addition to most picture book collections.–Shana Shea, Windsor Public Library, CT