Monday, June 18, 2012

Lon Po Po A Red Riding Hood Story From China

As I was exploring multicultural Cinderella stories, I started to encounter multicultural versions of other traditional tales familiar to most American students. I decided along with reviewing them, I would make a separate list, for parents and educators who might be interested in exploring them with their children. I will post the list soon.

Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from Chinatells a slightly different version of the tale.

In this version the mother does not send a child to visit the grandmother, but leaves three girls at home while she sets off for a visit with their grandmother, or as they call her Po Po. A wolf hearing that the children are unattended sets out to trick the children into letting him in the house so he can eat them. The wolf dons a disguise, pretends there has been a mix up, and convinces the children he is their Po Po. He tells them their mother must have taken a different route. The youngest children anxious to see their grandmother hurriedly open the door and the wolf slides by them blowing out the candle that might give away his disguise.

Even in the dark, the children realize that Po Po has some very strange characteristics and the eldest comes to realize they have a wolf on their hands. She devises a plan to rid her family of the wolf, using his own greed against him.

This is a clever version of the tale and it would be interesting to have children compare and contrast how the Chinese children and the traditional Grimm's Red Riding Hood handled the challenges presented by the wolf.

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