Little Red

Nearly everyone knows the story of Little Red Riding Hood. This story has been told and retold in various different ways. We can read the original Grimm or Perrault tales, or we can check out books like Honestly, Red Riding Hood Was Rotten! By Trisha Speed Shaskan, The Wolf’s Story by Toby Forward, Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz, Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood by Mike Artell, Betsy Red Hoodie by Gail Carson Levine, and many, many others.

As of April 1st, 2016, we’ll have a new Little Red Riding Hood story to add to the mix. Little Red, written and illustrated by Bethan Woollvin, presents readers with a new look at a classic story and turns what we think we know about the title character on its ear.

In this offering, Little Red isn’t easily fooled. No wily wolf is going to get anything over on her, and if he thinks he can disguise himself as her grandma and make Red his next meal, he’s about to be taught a very important lesson.

In this charming—and rather surprising—twist on an old favorite, Bethan Woollvin gives readers a look at a very smart young girl who is dangerous in her own right. Little Red may shock some readers with her actions, but they may also think, “Well…he had it coming.”

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff is a nominee for the 15-16 South Carolina Children’s Book Award.

If a person’s name is his/her destiny, what is a kid supposed to do with a name like Rump? Young Rump knows there’s more to his name, but his mother died before revealing that little tidbit to anyone…so he’s known simply as Rump. This twelve-year-old boy, slight for his age, is a target for the town bullies, and he worries that his life will always be working to find gold in the mines and trading the greedy miller for whatever scraps of food he can get. But all that changes when he happens upon his mother’s old spinning wheel…

As luck would have it, Rump has inherited his mother’s ability to spin straw into gold, but using such powerful magic comes with a price. And for Rump, the price is a seemingly unbreakable curse. A curse that leads to a horrible bargain with the miller’s daughter. A curse that drives Rump from his home. A curse that he’ll do just about anything to break.

Rump goes on a quest to escape his wretched curse. Along the way, he encounters trolls (seriously misunderstood creatures), loads of pixies, a tree full of poison apples, and a family he never knew he had. He begins to realize just what his ability means and what it will take from him if he can’t get out of the magical, tangled rumpel he’s in.

And, wonder of wonders, there might just be a way out of this mess, but will Rump find what he needs–his true name–before it’s too late? Will this boy finally be the master of his own destiny, or is he doomed to be just Rump forever? Find out when you read Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff!

If readers are paying attention while reading Rump, they’ll see nods to several other stories, the most notable being Little Red Riding Hood. (Red is Rump’s best friend–and the source of an upcoming book.) Some other stories that pop up–in one way or another–are Snow White, Rapunzel, and Jack and the Beanstalk (which is the subject of Shurtliff’s latest book).

I think Rump is sure to be a hit with readers who love a good fairy tale, enjoy a bit of fantasy, and just want a good story. It’s great for readers in third grade on up, and I look forward to talking to my students about this enchanting story. I hope they are as fond of it as I am.