Yes, I always felt for the wolf – like what an irritating person that little girl with a red hood must have been… Amélie Fléchais has put an elegant twist into the old tale and set the wolf as the victim in her gorgeously illustrated retelling of the Grimm classic.
Author: Amélie Fléchais
Publisher: Diamond Book Distributors, Lion Forge 2017
Category: Children’s Fiction/Graphic novel
Original language: French
The Little Red Wolf is a young wolf boy, who is given a task by her mother: to take a freshly butchered rabbit to her granny, who has lost her last teeth and is unable to hunt herself. The Little Red Wolf sets on his way, but the forest is so tempting (and it definitely is – Fléchais’ illustrations would tempt anyone to explore!) that he loses his way. While on the go, he also eats the whole rabbit piece by piece. When he realizes he’s lost and has no rabbit left either, the Little Red Wolf is devastated.
Right on time, a nice little girl appears and promises to take him to her home, where she has lots of rabbits… That can only end badly, as any adult reader knows, but wait – Fléchais doesn’t settle for the most obvious ending. After some pretty scary moments, there is a happy end after all, and the Little Red Wolf returns to home with his dad.
There is a song in the story, which explains why the wolves and humans don’t get along anymore. The nice little girl justifies her actions based on the story of this song. But the Little Red Wolf’s dad knows another version of the song, which gives quite another perspective to the story. I loved this addition to the original theme by Fléchais. It is crucial for even the children to recognize that there are many sides to a story and one tends to act based on the information one has.
But the best element of the Little Red Wolf is no doubt its illustrations. Amélie Fléchais has created an enchanting, magical world, which draws the reader into its mysterious atmosphere. The pictures are full of details to discover and the soft, dreamy illustrations balance the sometimes morbid story points. Fléchais’ illustrations are artworks on their own and convey the feelings of the characters of the story supremely.