Little Red by Bethan Woollvin; illustrated by Bethan Woolvin. 2016. Gouache and digital
Brief summary: A modern, courageous Little Red walks to her Grandma’s and meets a wolf who does not scare her. When she enters her Grandma’s house later on in the story and sees the wolf dressed up as her relative, she pretends to go along. The wolf tries to eat her which does not go well for the beast, since the wise little girl brought an ax inside with her. No damsel in distress for this girl! The ending does show her wearing a wolf cape and not a little red riding hood cape.
Comments: I got a kick out of this version of Little Red Riding Hood, because the little girl was not going to be a victim or in the need of a huntsman to save her. She saved herself. The grandmother is not so lucky. I plan to use this with my primary students making sure they hear the version that the Grandmother gets saved and/or wolf runs away first and then this variant. I hope to see more fairy tale variants with these strong girl characters from Bethan Woolvin in the future.
Beauty and the Beast by Mahlon F. Craft; illustrated by Kinuko Y. Craft. 2016. Oil over watercolor on gesso panel.
Brief summary: A rich merchant has three daughters and lives well until he loses his fortune causing them to live in a small cottage. He receives news that one of his ships is found. He leaves his daughters with high hopes, but all of the cargo is used to pay off his debts. The father returns on his long journey empty-handed and exhausted stopping by a castle in the middle of a storm where he eats and stays overnight never seeing his host. He takes a rose as he leaves causing a beast to appear furious with the thief. The beast tells the father he will die unless the man switches places with one of his daughters which ends up to be Beauty. She arrives frighten of the beast but learns to love him over many dinners. The beast asks for her hand in marriage, but she refuses longing to see her sick father. He allows her to go for a week if she promises to return. She is overdue a few days and rushes back to find him dying, but he is revived by her kiss and turns back into a prince. They marry.
Comments: There are little twists and differences from the popular Disney version. The oil illustrations are stunning and capture the essence of the fairy tale. This is an excellent addition to any library.