October 4, 2016

Favorite Red Riding Hood Picture Books

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Other favorite fairy tale lists to check out:


The Little Red Wolf

Illustrated by Amélie Fléchais

A twist on the old tale, Fléchais explores what happens when a young wolf sets out on a journey to bring his grandmother a rabbit and finds himself charmed by a "helpful" little girl who turns out to be far less than helpful. This is a much darker version of the tale, both in tone and in color. The illustrations are rife with blacks, dark blues, and shadows, leaving readers minds open to guessing what will happen next. The text never takes center stage despite its fancy font, and this book lends itself well for children learning how to read illustrations.

Little Red Riding Hood

Illustrated by Daniel Egnéus

Daniel Egnéus' interpretation of the tale is quite possibly the most beautiful I've seen. The gentle mix of watercolor, ink, and collage allows Egnéus to explore light and dark in his Little Red Riding Hood, as well as foreground and background images. The text is beautifully incorporated into the illustrations so that we get a sense we're completely enveloped by this story. It's a more abstract type of illustration style, so we rely more heavily on the colors Egnéus uses to better understand the tone of each image.

Little Red Riding Hood

Illustrated by Sybille Schenker

The intricate paper cut-outs of Sybille Schenker's Little Red Riding Hood will send chills down your spine. They're just incredible. Every piece of the illustrations becomes important, from what we can see through the cut-outs to the shadows the cut-outs cast to what we see on the other side of each page. The book is just absolutely flawless, incorporating lots of detailed work to bring the story to life in a new, fresh way.

Illustrated by Bethan Woollvin

Bethan Woollvin's Little Red is such a fantastic retelling of the story, not just because the illustrations are hilarious and perfectly designed, but also because the events of the story take a slightly different turn than usual. Woollvin's interpretation is bold and beautiful, using only four colors––red, white, gray, and black––to highlight the events of the story. It's such a fun read in every way, and you'll crack up at the ending.

Illustrated by Beatriz Martín Vidal

A stunningly trenchant interpretation of the tale, Vidal's version of the story captures vignettes from three key moments in the tale: the girl putting on her hood, her first time meeting the wolf, and breaking out of his body. With dark, hyper-realistic illustrations where red is the only spark of color, the dream-like sequence of events seamlessly.

Illustrated by Louise Rowe

Louise Rowe's adaptation Red Riding Hood: A Pop-Up Book uses pop-ups clearly and sparsely so that every piece of every image adds to the story. Rowe sticks to a limited color palette, and she cleverly uses the negative space to enhance the sense of isolation readers feel in each spread as Little Red gets closer and closer to her fate.

Un Petit Chaperon Rouge

Illustrated by Marjolaine Leray

Marjolaine Leray's Un Petit Chaperon Rouge is a small book with a large presence. The tone of this book is much lighter, which definitely partly stems from the looseness of the illustrations. Leray uses only black and red colored pencils to create her illustrations, which gives them a levity we don't often see in such a dark story. And the ending is hilarious! It's available in English as well, but the only illustrations I could find are from the French version.

Illustrated by Clémentine Sourdias

There's no way to talk about "Little Red Riding Hood" without putting Clémentine Sourdais' leporello on the list. This leporello consists of cut-out cardstock so that readers can flash a light through the pages and cast shadows on the walls. It's absolutely stunning, and makes for a super fun interactive read of the well-known story.


Illustrated by Jed Alexander

In traditional fashion, Red travels to her grandmother's house and is intercepted by the Wolf, though for a purpose far, far less nefarious than eating her. The silk screened illustrations are done entirely in shades of red and black, which gives the book a much safer tone, especially when coupled with the rounded characters and the intricate, soft line work on other imagery like the trees and the animals. Check out the brilliant fore-edge treatment here.

Illustrated by Marie Voigt

Red sets off with her dog Woody for her Grandma's house. But the city makes her feel hungry and soon she's eaten the meal she promised her Grandma and gotten lost, consumed by the overwhelming city around her. Voigt makes every spread feel menacing and dynamic as ordinary city items become wolfy shadows and teeth threatening to devour Red. Voigt also cleverly uses alternating sizes and colors of typeface, too, all crashing together delightfully until Red eventually makes her way to Grandma.

Written by Marie Sellier and illustrated by Catherine Louis

This leporello sees Grandma heading to her three grandchildren when she encounters a wolf in the woods! This is a long leporello, spanning over twenty-four feet! One side features a weathered black pattern with silhouetted images, and the other side is a matte red color, adding a pop of color in every bit of negative space when the book is folded.

Written by Charles Perrault and illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet

This highly vertical book focuses on the complementary color pairing of red and green, as well as brown, with highlights in bright white. The illustrations are rendered in an oil pastel fashion, moving around the large swathes of white to give the negative space plenty of room to breathe and the colors plenty of room to shine.

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