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Red Riding Hood for All Ages

A Fairy-Tale Icon in Cross-Cultural Contexts

Sandra L. Beckett

Fairy-Tale Studies, Folklore, Gender, Literary Criticism and Theory, Women's Studies

Series in Fairy-Tale Studies

Paperback
Published: September 2008
ISBN: 9780814333068
Pages: 288 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 55
Review

Beckett consulted a remarkable number of tale versions to produce an exemplary comparative study that reflects the ubiquitous image of the character of Red Riding Hood, the commodification of that character, and that character's narrative.”

— Journal of Folklore Research

Red Riding Hood for All Ages investigates the modern recasting of one of the world’s most beloved and frequently told tales. Author Sandra L. Beckett examines an international selection of contemporary fiction for children, adolescents, and adults to find a wide range of narrative and interpretive perspectives in the tale and its revisions. Beckett shows how authors and illustrators from around the globe have renewed the age-old tale in a range of multilayered, sophisticated, and complex textual and visual Red Riding Hood narratives.

With a child protagonist who confronts grown-up issues of sexuality, violence, and death, the Red Riding Hood story appeals to readers of all age groups and is often presented in crossover texts that can be enjoyed by both children and adults. Beckett presents a wide selection of retellings, many of which have been never translated into English. Texts come from a variety of countries in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Asia and date from the early twentieth to the twenty-first century. This wealth of stories and illustrations is organized thematically into sections that consider Little Red Riding Hood alternately as a cautionary tale, an initiation story, a story focused on the wolf, a tale inspired by the wolf within, and a story of an unconventional girl who runs with wolves.

This volume provides a global survey of Red Riding Hood’s story in contemporary culture, proving that the character is omnipresent in modern literature and that the universal appeal of her story knows no age boundaries. Red Riding Hood for All Ages will be of interest to scholars of folklore, gender studies, and literature, as well as librarians, educators, parents, and all those interested in the many interpretations of the Red Riding Hood tale.

Sandra L. Beckett is professor of French at Brock University, Ontario, Canada.

In Red Riding Hood for All Ages, Sandra L. Beckett explores the recycling of that universally known story into fictions addressing both adults and children. This new study of more than 130 re-versions of Little Red Riding Hood, written in 12 languages, mostly after 1970, and from over 30 countries in the world, reflects the meticulous research of a passionate collector. The truly international dimension of Beckett's scholarship will undoubtedly appeal to a large audience of readers interested in the ever-changing fate of the little girl in red."

– Claire L. Malarte-Feldman, professor of French and director of the Center for International Education at the University of New Hampshire

Beckett truly has tapped into a wealth of texts, illustrations, and film on Little Red Riding Hood that is most impressive. What makes this book particularly important is that it weaves together texts and other cultural artifacts from Latin America and North America to Europe and Japan to give a 'global' sense of Little Red Riding Hood's story in the postmodern era."

– Anne E. Duggan, associate professor of French at Wayne State University

Red Riding Hood for All Ages offers food for thought to both scholars and a wider audience interested in children's literature. Even though a wide range of renowned studies on Little Red Riding Hood have appeared since the 1980s, Beckett still manages to make a valuable contribution."

– International Research in Children?s Literature

Beckett consulted a remarkable number of tale versions to produce an exemplary comparative study that reflects the ubiquitous image of the character of Red Riding Hood, the commodification of that character, and that character's narrative."

– Journal of Folklore Research

Sandra Beckett's study is a must for anyone wishing to get an overview of the theme of LRRH in contemporary popular culture, and to benefit from the detailed abstracts of retellings in many languages. Perhaps best of all, this gracefully written study provides food for thought."

– Folklore 121, August 2010