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Carmine: A Little More Red
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About the Author

Melissa Sweet is the Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of many fine children's books including Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White, winner of the NCTE Orbis Pictus award, Balloons Over Broadway, a Sibert winner, and The Right Word and A River of Words, both Caldecott Honors. Reviewers have described her unique mixed-media illustrations as "exuberant," "outstanding," and "a creative delight." Melissa lives on the beautiful coast of Maine. In addition to writing and painting, she enjoys gardening, hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. For more information about the author and her work, visit her online at melissasweet.net.

Reviews

For her authorial debut, Sweet (The Boy Who Drew Birds) offers a colorful, abecedarian take on Little Red Riding Hood. Creative details, both visual and verbal, abound as Sweet introduces Carmine as a thoughtful, creative painter whom Granny invites over for a bowl of alphabet soup, warning her to be careful and not to dawdle. The letter D demonstrates how well the heroine heeds advice: "Some people dilly-dally once in a while, but Carmine made a habit of it." The letters introduce an array of words, from unfamiliar ones children will likely have overheard ("The light was exquisite. Carmine began making a picture for Granny") to ones that just sound cool ("Everyone knows it isn't very nice to call a person, or even a bird, a nincompoop, but sometimes Carmine could not help herself"). Full-bleed spreads and panel-like progressions chart the proceedings. Carmine's dog senses trouble "lurking," and inadvertently reveals the location of Granny's house to the wolf. Luckily, even without a woodsman (he's out of town), a happy ending is in store. Sweet's mixed-media illustrations feature penciled outlines and bright watercolor washes that could have been culled from the heroine's own notebooks. A few words lack sufficient context (for "haiku," an example is given, but an older reader will have to explain the poetic form), but this is a quibble in an overall entertaining package. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"the sunny mixed-media art& mdash; nicely sparked with reds in all their bright variety& mdash; tells the story beautifully." & mdash; Horn Book
"A fetching retelling of & quot; Little Red Riding Hood& quot; that also works as an effective alphabet book. . . . The fresh and imaginative mixed-media art imitates the sketchbook of a child artist." --School Library Journal, starred
"the sunny mixed-media art- nicely sparked with reds in all their bright variety- tells the story beautifully." - Horn Book
"A fetching retelling of " Little Red Riding Hood" that also works as an effective alphabet book. . . . The fresh and imaginative mixed-media art imitates the sketchbook of a child artist." --School Library Journal, starred
"the sunny mixed-media art--nicely sparked with reds in all their bright variety--tells the story beautifully." --Horn Book
"For her authorial debut Sweet . . . offers a colorful, abecedarian take on Little Red Riding Hood. Creative details, both visual and verbal, abound."
"The illustrator tries her hand at words and images in this delightful alphabet and fairytale twist. . . . Besides her vivacious paint and collage pictures, Sweet plays with her love of words." --Kirkus
"A fetching retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" that also works as an effective alphabet book. . . . The fresh and imaginative mixed-media art imitates the sketchbook of a child artist." --School Library Journal, starred

PreS-Gr 2-A fetching retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" that also works as an effective alphabet book. When Grandmother makes alphabet soup, artistic young Carmine is always invited to lunch. Though told by her mother not to dilly-dally, Carmine, wearing the traditional red cloak and accompanied by her dog, Rufus, is a chronic dawdler. As she stops to make a painting of some exquisite poppies for her grandmother, a lurking wolf enters Granny's house. The fresh and imaginative mixed-media art imitates the sketchbook of a child artist. The inventive layout employs a variety of techniques to engage viewers and move the story forward. They include maps to and from Granny's house, small insert sketches that make sly references to other fairy tales, and dialogue balloons for Rufus and the wolf in addition to those of the human characters. The abecedarian form of storytelling highlights a word on each page (pluck, quiver, reckoned, surreal); each word is first named and then used in a sentence that moves the tale along and suggests its meaning. And the surprise ending is both pleasantly suspenseful and satisfying. A charmer.-Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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