Aug 27, 2011
Carmine: A Little More Red
Carmine: A Little More Red by Melissa Sweet
Carmine: A Little More Red is a new and clever retelling of the classic Little Red Riding Hood. Carmine is invited to have alphabet soup at her grandmother's house. Grandma tells her she heard a wolf howl the night before, so it's very important for Carmine to stay on the path and not "dilly-dally". Carmine and her dog Rufus got on the bike and as they came to the edge of a field, Carmine found a beautiful spot that she felt she had to draw (she loved to draw!). "The light was exquisite" so she started painting...always adding a little more red (she believed adding more red to a painting could only improve it). Meanwhile, the wolf approached Rufus and found out that Grandma makes a great alphabet soup with bones so he headed to her house. By the time Carmine finally made it to her grandma's, the house was a mess and she feared the worst. Thankfully, she found her grandma in the closet. The wolf had taken the soup bones to his cubs.
What makes Carmine: A Little More Red an interesting retelling, is the way the narrative is organized as a sort of alphabet. Starting with "Alphabet" (for her grandmother's alphabet soup), all the way to "Zillion" (as for the zillion times they told Carmine not to dilly-dally), each page ads a new word that's part of the story (all in alphabetical order). It's a fun read aloud that introduces great vocabulary and can open the door for students to create their own retellings of classic fairy tales. Don't forget Einstein's quote: "If you want your children to be bright, read them fairytales. To be brilliant, read them even more fairytales."