A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this Chinese version of the traditional Little Red Riding Hood story includes the eating of the little sister, and the killing of the tiger. Older kids should be fine with it, but it's not for younger readers.
What's the story?
When the mother leaves for the village, she warns her quarrelsome daughters not to open the door for anyone, especially since a tiger has been roaming the countryside. Of course, the tiger does find the girls' home, disguises himself as Auntie, and tries to get in. One thing leads to another, and like in the Little Red Riding Hood story, Little Sister is eaten, Big Sister barely escapes, and ultimately comes back to cut her sister from the tiger's belly. The sisters learn a couple of good lessons. Of course, things don't work out so well for the tiger.
Is it any good?
Older kids will be captivated by the cleverly told story, with its vibrant illustrations and slightly dangerous tone, and they will understand the lessons. Younger kids may be attracted by the cover and the paintings, but the story isn't for them.
The friendly-looking tiger on the front cover is a trick. He is all smiles, and definitely looks like he wants to play. But, look out! Inside, he becomes a mean-spirited, ferocious character, bent on devouring the two little sisters. He is the wolf in the Little Red Riding Hood stories, and he too is up to no good.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the lessons that the sisters, especially the younger one, learn about taking care of one another, listening to their mother, and not talking to strangers, particularly hungry tigers dressed up like relatives. They might also talk about how the sisters felt about one another. Why did they quarrel so much? Why did Big Sister call Little Sister "lazy," and why did Little Sister think Big Sister was "too bossy"? How did that cause the problem with the tiger? What did they each learn?