Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Quite honestly, I liked the idea of this collection more than I liked the stories. I did appreciate the humor and the fact that Velde did address the issues she'd always had with the Little Red Ridinghood story in its varied incarnations. I actually agree with her on many points. However, I think a few of the stories took a bit too much of a left turn. One even goes into a direction that makes the Woodsman into a foil who complicates the storylines of several other fairy tale protagonists. Clever touch, but I was annoyed with the man, honestly. I really liked the story from the viewpoint of Red's grandmother who makes friends with the wolf in an intriguing way. I have a soft spot for wolves, so I rather liked that the wolf wasn't necessarily the villain in most of the stories. The last story was a fun touch about Red's cloak being sentient. Overall, Red doesn't come off in a very flattering way. But I think that's kind of the point of things. Clearly Velde doesn't think the traditional fairy tale treats Red as the smartest or most interesting character anyway.
The narrator really kicks this up a notch. She makes the story fun with her different voices and intonations. I felt like she had fun reading this book. That's always a good thing.
Overall, this was a fun audiobook, but it isn't nearly my favorite when it comes to fairy tale retellings. However, if you are a fairy tale freak like me, you'd probably want to check it out.
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