Bethan Woollvin’s Little Red

In case you missed it, the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2016 list came out a few weeks ago. Included on the list of great new children’s books was Little Red by Bethan Woollvin. Alex and I read Little Red over the weekend and agree that it certainly deserves its place on the list!


Little Red is a retelling of the story of Little Red Riding Hood, with a few little twists. Unlike the main character of long ago, in this story, Little Red is much more perceptive and mindful of her surroundings. She’s also brave. When she meets the wolf, he growls at her. The book then says that this: “might have scared some little girls. But not this little girl.”

The book continues the story that we all know (without the flower-picking), until Little Red gets to Grandma’s house. Then she makes a plan.

Ms. Woollvin’s Little Red is told using simple text and illustrations. What stands out most in her illustrations is the striking use of color throughout the book. Little Red is, of course, most often shown all in red. Other than a few touches of red in other places throughout the book (my favorite is the ladybug), everything else is in shades of black and grey.

Little Red is a wonderful new take on an old favorite! I’m sure it will find a beloved home in many personal libraries.

Ms. Woollvin won the Macmillan Children’s Book Competition at the Cambridge School of Art for Little Red. This is her first picture book. I can’t wait to see what she has next for us!

Here’s what Alex had to say about Little Red:

I like how it’s mostly grey, black, and red.

I think it was funny how fat the wolf looked in the pictures. I thought it was funny how when the wolf made up his plan, he thought of a plate with Grandma and Little Red on it.

I like how Little Red rolled her eyes when she said: “Oh Grandma! What big ears you have! . . . Oh Grandma! What big eyes you have! . . . Oh Grandma! What big teeth you have!”

I like how Little Red wasn’t scared of the wolf. And how she made up a plan while looking through the window. She grabbed the axe that she saw on a stump. I like how the author adds at the end that it was unlucky for the wolf.

Many thanks to Ms. Woollvin for a great new addition to the picture book world!

Bethan Woollvin can be found at

Have you read any great books lately?

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