Today’s color: Red. As in Carmine: A Little More Red, by Melissa Sweet (Houghton Mifflin, 2005).
Theme: being aware of your environment
This is a retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood” with a fun twist: it’s an alphabet book that introduces luscious language into the vocabulary of young children. Also, the wolf doesn’t eat Grandma, and the woodcutter is nowhere near. Set in contemporary time – Carmine (Red) rides a bike and keeps in touch with Grandma by phone.
Opening: “Carmine had a beloved granny who taught her how to read by making Alphabet soup.” The story follows 26 words in alphabetical order. Next comes beware – as in: come visit me, but be careful and no stopping on the way. Unfortunately, Carmine does indeed dilly-dally, because the light was exquisite, and she wanted to paint a picture for granny.
Why I like this Book: I love the twists and turns in the story. While Carmine paints her picture, a wolf interrogates her dog about the path to Grandma’s house, because she needs food for her pups. In this tale, the woodcutter does not hear Granny’s calls for help, because he’s off with three pigs discussing floor plans for wolf-proof houses. And at the very end, when Carmine rescues Granny from the closet, Granny reminds her that she’s been told a zillion times not to dawdle – and then hangs her painting on the wall. Seriously – what kid can resist all those fun words?
Plus – there’s a recipe for Granny’s alphabet soup at the back.
Beyond the Book:
Go on a color hike and see how many different shades of your favorite fall color you can find. If your color is green, look at different kinds of leaves, grass, moss, lichens. If it’s yellow, check out the leaves, flowers, and insects you see. Collect a sample of each color and create a color palette when you get home – or use paint to create the different colors you see.
Go on a field trip to a paint store and look at the paint cards with all the different shades of your color. Who knew that there are 30 kinds of almost-white?
Today's review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy obtained from a library.