Little Red Hot

Book review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Little Red Hot Book Poster Image
Folksy yarn gives classic fairy tale Southwest flare.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Little Red Hot offers some exposure to a Spanish phrase or two, as well mentions of different types of peppers and varying levels of spiciness or heat. Included in the introduction is a note explaining how hot peppers are rated, and some precautions in handling, cooking, and eating them.

Positive Messages

Little Red Hot promotes positive messages about the Southwest and regional cuisine, as well as showing the elderly as resourceful and quick. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Girls are shown as intelligent and self-sufficient. Adults are present and concerned, and the elderly are shown as cared for, resourceful, and quick-witted.

Violence & Scariness

Little Red Hot has sustained suspense as the main character makes her way to Grandma's house and faces down a wolf disguised as a woman. In one brief passage, the wolf shoots through a roof with fire and smoke trailing him after consuming very spicy food.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Little Red Hot is a creative interpretation of the classic fairy tale "Little Red Riding Hood," reworked with a Southwestern regional flare that incorporates a love for spicy food and hot peppers. It offers a strong female role model in Little Red Hot, a self-sufficient girl who likes her peppers hot and doesn't shy away from a little confrontation.

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What's the story?

Little Red Hot is off to visit Grandma, who has a cold. To help, she prepares Grandma's favorite hot pepper pie to ward off germs, but she'll have to watch out for Senor Lobo on the way, who's up to no good.

Is it any good?

LITTLE RED HOT is a clever take on a classic fairy tale that incorporates fun Southwestern nods using the humorous, folksy feel of a campfire yarn. Gouache, acrylic, colored pencil paintings collaged on the computer give the illustrations a mixed-media look, while bold colors and offbeat angles emphasize the off-kilter adventure.

Kids who enjoy the "Little Red Riding Hood" story and Texas cuisine or spicy foods will enjoy the familar sizzle and pace of Southwestern life shown here. For others, it's a nice introduction to regional differences. And parents of girls will likely appreciate a headstrong girl role model who can out-pepper even the most stoic of cowboys ... and wolves!


Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about spicy foods. Do you like them? Are they popular where you live?

  • Are you familiar with the "Little Red Riding Hood" fairy tale? How's this version different?

  • Little Red Hot uses some quick thinking to deal with the wolf. Have you ever had to think fast to handle a problem? What happened? What was the outcome?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and fairy tales

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