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Little Red Cowboy Hat
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About the Author

Susan Lowell lives in Tucson, Arizona. She is the author of many books, including The Three Little Javelinas and The Tortoise and the Jackrabbit.

Randy Cecil illustrated The Singing Chick and Dear Dr. Silly Bear. He lives in Houston, Texas.

Reviews

This Southwestern version of Little Red Riding Hood features a tomboyish main character, a wolf as sleazy as any streetcorner lothario and a distinct self-defense theme. Lowell's (The Three Little Javelinas) outwardly tough Little Red wears a sheriff's badge and shoots rattlesnakes with her slingshot. However, she's intimidated by her aggressor, who steps from behind a cactus and blocks her path ("She didn't want to talk to him, but she'd been raised to be polite"). Later, as Little Red flees the wolf in Grandma's house, Grandma bursts into the bedroom with an ax (she has been chopping wood). Together the two frontierswomen chase the wolf away, and the tale ends on an up-to-date empowerment note: " `Now, Red, have you learned your lesson?' asked Grandma. `Yep. A girl's gotta stick up for herself,' said Little Red." Cecil (Baby's Breakfast) contributes flat, angular gouache illustrations of desert scenes. He fills thin black outlines with coloring-book precision, in shades of sunset orange, oversaturated yellow and green. His light-gray wolf towers over the thin and frightened Little Red, playing up the tension Lowell builds into the text before she defuses it with Grandma's 10-gallon talk: "That yellow-bellied, snake-blooded, skunk-eyed, rancid son of a parallelogram!... This time he picked the wrong grandma." Ages 5-8. (Mar.)

Gr 1-3‘Lowell continues her line of traditional tales repositioned on a ranch and retold in cowboy lingo. In this one, Mother warns Little Red to watch out for snakes, but of course, it's a wolf that causes the trouble. Little Red knows better than to dillydally with wolves, but she decides to string him along until she can find out what he's done with Grandma. When Grandma pops through the door with her shotgun, just in the nick of time, the two lambaste that "low-life lobo" and he goes on the lam permanently. Red's lesson is "A girl's gotta stick up for herself"‘with help from Grandma. Cecil's colors reflect deep western sunset shades of red and orange. Flat cartoon figures have the look of plane geometry‘many of the curves are effected with short straight lines. Grandma alludes to the wolf as a "rancid son of a parallelogram," giving rise to possible math activities and art lessons. An amusing addition to the growing collection of fairy-tale spoofs.‘Ruth Semrau, formerly at Lovejoy School, Allen, TX

"A merry success, this Wild West fairy tale makes other versions look limp by comparison."
--"Kirkus," pointer review
"An amusing addition to the growing collection to fairy-tale spoofs."
--"School Library Journal," starred review
"There's a rawboned energy to the writing that invigorates the tale. The images are . . . wittily exaggerated, with Red's impossibly shaped horse a particularly appealing absurdity."
--"Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books"
"A funny version of the familiar tale. A good choice for story hour; older kids will enjoy it, too"
--"Booklist"

A merry success, this Wild West fairy tale makes other versions look limp by comparison. "Kirkus, pointer review"

An amusing addition to the growing collection to fairy-tale spoofs. "School Library Journal, starred review"

There's a rawboned energy to the writing that invigorates the tale. The images are . . . wittily exaggerated, with Red's impossibly shaped horse a particularly appealing absurdity. "Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books"

A funny version of the familiar tale. A good choice for story hour; older kids will enjoy it, too "Booklist""


"A merry success, this Wild West fairy tale makes other versions look limp by comparison." --Kirkus, pointer review

"An amusing addition to the growing collection to fairy-tale spoofs." --School Library Journal, starred review

"There's a rawboned energy to the writing that invigorates the tale. The images are . . . wittily exaggerated, with Red's impossibly shaped horse a particularly appealing absurdity." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A funny version of the familiar tale. A good choice for story hour; older kids will enjoy it, too" --Booklist

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