by Lucy Cousins
Publishers Weekly Anyone expecting the gentleness of the Maisy books in Cousins's retellings of eight fairy tales is in for a whopper of a surprise-although the cheeky title does provide a tip-off. Who knew Cousins could depict a wolf decapitation ("Little Red Riding Hood") or stewing ("The Three Little Pigs") with such relish? Or that she'd find a creepiness factor in the Henny Penny story worthy of Flannery O'Connor? Cousins embraces all the primitive, enduring fears and desires that drive these stories, and then beckons readers to hop on a rollicking narrative roller coaster ("I'm going to gobble you up," says a troll, threatening the biggest of the Billy Goats Gruff, who responds, "Then I'll bash you to bits"). There are thrills big and small on every color-saturated page: a Goldilocks who sports ginormous pigtails that seem to have an emotional life all their own; the hairy orange goat-eating troll with his neon green mani-pedi; a little red hen with enough feminine industriousness to rival Rosie the Riveter. Make room on the shelf. A new classic has arrived. Ages 3-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list *Starred Review* Lucy Cousins, best known for her Maisy picture books, presents eight familiar tales: Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Enormous Turnip, Henny Penny, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Little Red Hen, The Three Little Pigs, and The Musicians of Bremen. A glance at wolf on the book's jacket, sharp claws and teeth at the ready, will reassure readers that this is no pastel, bowdlerized version of folklore. Yes, a hunter chops off the head of Red Riding Hood's wolf, but the deed is so matter-of-fact in the telling and so bloodless and cartoon-like in the illustration that children are unlikely to flinch when justice is done. The writing is simple and direct, as befits these traditional tales. Illustrated in Cousins' signature style, the bold, childlike pictures feature broad strokes of black paint defining the forms of characters and elements of the setting. The scale of the illustrations is so large that their effect might overwhelm a bit when seen at close range. At a little distance, though, their clarity, drama, and energy are evident. Absolutely perfect for the youngest.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2009 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
School Library Journal K-Gr 2-Beloved classics are successfully served by these bold, striking renditions. There's no sugarcoating here, as the wolf in "Little Red Riding Hood" is shown receiving his gruesome comeuppance and Henny Penny's friends never return from Foxy Woxy's lair. Large, arresting gouache spreads in Cousins's signature style utilize saturated colors and thick, dark outlines against solid backgrounds. Expressive characters enhance the stories' shifting moods. Large type accentuates the dynamic texts, building each spare entry to its powerful climax. Crisp retellings of "The Little Red Hen," "The Three Little Pigs," "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," "The Musicians of Bremen," "The Three Billy Goats Gruff," and "The Enormous Turnip" round out this arresting volume.-Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.