Carmine: A Little More Red

Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
Carmine: A Little More Red Book Poster Image
Busy retelling of Red Riding Hood is a winner.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's nothing scary about this retelling of the Red Riding Hood story.

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What's the story?

The story itself is familiar to most of us -- Red Riding Hood (here, Carmine) steps off the path on the way to Grandma's giving the wolf time to mess with everyone's plans. (Fortunately for little kids, this wolf has no interest in turning Grandma -- or Carmine -- into a meal.)

Is it any good?

There's a lot going on in this revamped, revved up version of Little Red Riding Hood. CARMINE: A LITTLE MORE RED works as an alphabet book using an impressive vocabulary -- including "surreal" and "pluck"; a graphic mini-novel with much of the dialog in balloons; and of course an intriguing way of reexamining a favorite fairytale. Kids will be able to revisit the book as they mature and discover new ways to read the story, and adults will like the witty take on tradition.

Carmine is a fleshed-out character with a love of painting and the wolf is now more than just a villain; he's a dad with a hungry brood to feed. (Kids can weigh in on whether or not this makes a difference in their wolf sympathies.) Rich illustrations offer up many details. Kids who might not have the patience for the rather wordy tale can follow the story by exploring the pictures from their favorite reader's lap.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can act out the story with kids who are too young to know the real (and scarier) version. Older kids can compare and contrast the two versions and think about rewriting their own favorite fairy tale. Goldilocks anyone? Or how about Jack and the Beanstalk?

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