Parents' Guide to

Little Red Riding Hood and the Dragon

By Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Classic tale gets fun update from a Chinese perspective.

book cover of Little Red Riding Hood and the Dragon

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This fun, creative retelling of the classic folktale freshens it up with a dragon, Chinese food, musical instruments, silk ribbons, kung foo, and a handy sword, but no woodsman. Author Ying Chang Compestine's action-packed storytelling zips along, aided by Joy Ang's eye-catching, cartoon-like illustrations. Close-ups of the dragon's face and claws provide the appropriate thrills and chills. And cutaways showing Little Red sliding down the dragon's throat and then enlisting grandma's help in dragon-bashing moves to make their escape add plenty of humor and girl power.

In a surprise twist at the end of Little Red Riding Hood and the Dragon, we see that the wolf has been telling the tale to the Three Little Pigs, whose three Chinese houses -- one of straw, one of sticks, one of bricks -- are seen in the distance. The wolf concludes, "I don't know how people ended up with a silly folktale that gave me, the gentle wolf, a bad reputation." It's one final giggle in this charming update.

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