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Little Red Wolf: What you bring in your baggage is your own business

The story of Little Red Riding Hood has always been a wonderful morality tale. The interpretation of it has been wide spread. Some view it as a cautionary story telling of the dangers of strange men with young girls. Others interpret as following the righteous path vs the non. Some view Red Riding Hood as nothing but a playful story and don't read any deeper. Each person who reads or hears it has a slightly different take, and it impacts them at some level. I myself have always been a fan of the Riding Hood story, but in recent years have felt inundated by exposure to the tale. It seems like corporate commercials, TV shows, and the likes are all stabbing at it and taking reference. 

Maybe this is simply an artifact of my own generation, that the age bracket I inhabit was more strongly influenced than others. 


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Little Red Wolf (Amélie Fléchais)

Translated by Jeremy Melloul
80 pages
Lion Forge
ISBN-10: 1941302459
ISBN-13: 978-1941302453

Little Red Wolf was a fresh approach that did not follow directly in the footsteps of the original, meandering its own path through the woods, damn the consequences. I read this on the couch with my 3-year-old daughter. She was easily as captivated as I was, with beautiful artwork and lyrical text that flows from the pages.

Little Red Wolf is the tale of a small cub who is sent on a trip through the woods to his Grandmother's house. His Grandmother is too old and frail to hunt for herself, so presented with a dead rabbit to deliver, Little Red Wolf heads through the forest. He is given classic advice to stay the path and avoid the area where the Hunter and his daughter live, for they are killers of wolves and will give no mercy.

Little Red is easily distracted and finds himself lost in the woods, with no idea where the safe trail can be found. He eats bits and pieces of his delivery food until all that is left is bones. He is afraid he will be in trouble, as children do, begins to cry.

This is where the story changes from the traditional morality tale and becomes a great work unto itself. The wolf is approached in the forest by a young beautiful girl. The girl seems to be nice and is willing to help the wolf get a new fresh rabbit to take to his grandmother.

The little girl takes the wolf to her home, telling him a tale of a man who fell in love with a wild woman of the forest (her mother and father). She speaks of the adventure and terrors they fought. It turns out that every story has multiple interpretations, just like the original story of Red Riding Hood. While no single telling of the story is wrong, with out all the facts, they are exactly that, interpretations alone.

This book was really amazing. Lion Forge really seems to have tapped into a graphic novel and comic market that non-French speaking individuals should be giddy to gain access to, as this is another Translation success.  This is the second translation I have read by Jeremy Melloul, and I am very impressed by the ease it crosses over the barrier, feeling like it was native to English, rather than a clumsy duplication.

The core story, written and drawn by Amélie Fléchais, is outstanding. Being that this was read with my daughter, I felt very comfortable with the beautiful artwork, topic matter, and overall presentation. The story itself was more in the presentation of a short children's book rather than a graphic novel, and it reads easily and clearly. I will have to search for other work (written or artistic) by her.

Disclosure: This graphic novel was presented to me for review purposes by the publisher. I should have told them that while reviewing I might probably be eating donuts and an altered mental state by proxy of sugar high may be in play. I doubt they would have listened, however, as people just assume that fat bearded men are probably always eating donuts, sitting next to cops perhaps, or in basements hiding like trolls in some Tolkien-esque nightmare. I can vouch however that if I DID eat a donut, the sugar and carbs associated did not sway my opinion of this work, neither did the early access copy that my review is based on.  


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