Monday, December 17, 2012

Help Yourself Little Red Hen

The Little Red Hen/Help Yourself, Little Red Hen (Another Point of View)is another Point of View story written by Dr. Alvin Granowsky.

As with all the books in this series, the first side tells the traditional story, in this case The Little Red Hen. In the traditional tale, the Little Red Hen tries to gather the farm animals to help her grow wheat so they can all enjoy the bread that will be made from it. They all refuse to help and when the bread is made, they all want to eat it, but she refuses to share since they refused to work. Wendy Edelson has beautiful illustrations in the traditional tale. As I mentioned before two different styles of illustrations and fonts are used to distinguish the stories. This is the first time I have checked and realized there are two illustrators for the stories although one author for both stories.

In the alternate version, the pigs in the story begin by telling the story of a spoiled red hen who has been enabled by her friends. She always comes to them for help and as a result, they find themselves doing the work instead of helping her to complete the task. As a group, they decide it is time for her to become more independent. When the issue with the wheat arises, they practice tough love and force her to learn to handle tasks for herself. They are proud and supportive of her as she overcomes each obstacle. Instead of being upset, they are supportive when she chooses to enjoy the fruits of her labor instead of sharing it with the others.

This is an interesting take on the story of the Little Red Hen. I know I have encountered people who left me doing the chore after telling me I would only be helping with it. Therefore, I found the second story was believable. As far as the original story of the Red Hen, I thought she was free to grow her own food and eat it herself. However, she had no right to be angry the others were not interested in raising food and they had no right to the food she grew. I always thought the focus was on the benefits of being able to have control of one's food source and not be dependent on others for food.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tell the Truth B.B. Wolf

Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolfis the second of the B.B. Wolf stories by Judy Sierra.

While working at Saturday fix up day at the Villain Villa, the Big Bad Wolf is invited by the local librarian to come to the library and tell his side of the incident with the Three Little Pigs. His friends at the Villain Villa suggest he spin his involvement in the story. After all everyone likes a happy ending.

He starts his story with a song and comes up with some creative stories about how the houses came to be blown down. It turns out this is not really an open time for the wolf to tell his story. This is more of an intervention designed to make the wolf take responsibility for his actions. Pinocchio tells him his nose is growing longer and other fairy tale characters demand he tell the truth regarding his actions. The wolf finds it impossible to apologize with words, but does sing an apology. He also decides to change his middle name to Big Bodacious Benevolent Bookish Wolf.

With the help of his friends at Villain Villa, he redesigns the Pig's home as penance for his previous bad actions against them. Peace is created between Pigs and Wolf.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mind Your Manners BB Wolf

Amidst all his financial worries over the money he owes for settlements to various fairy tale characters, BB Wolf receives a welcome distraction in Judy Sierra's Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf.

The local librarian has invited the Big Bad Wolf to tea. Never having been to a formal tea he asks his best friend at the Villain Villa, the crocodile if he should go. After all, the wolf is not a fan of tea. The crocodile informs him one does not go for tea, but for the cookies. Before he heads off the crocodile gives him a list of rules to remember and the wolf creates a song as a memory technique.

The wolf is first thrown when he realizes that not only Red Riding Hood, but the Three Pigs, and several other characters he has hurt in the past are present. However, he holds on waiting for the cookies. His stomach starts to get upset after his third cup of tea and he forgets the rules regarding burping. He rushes to the computer to find a book on etiquette. He finds the word he seeks just in time as his burp nearly blows down the library. While the three pigs tease him and the gingerbread man flees in terror the librarian is impressed with his manners. She tests his will power once more when the only cookies she serves are gingerbread men. He refuses to eat them, but promises to return and tell her the real stories of the books she has on her table.

This was a cute Big Bad Wolf Story and it is part of a character series. The second book deals with telling the truth. It gets the message across in a cute way that will entertain children and perhaps even get them to remember the rules.