You Sure Are Lookin' Good: Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde

February 21, 2013 Fairy Tales 26

What big eyes you have, Bookworms!

How much have you been digging Project Fairy Tale? I lot, I assume. I mean, it has been, for lack of a better word, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. The latest addition to my Little Red Riding Hood repertoire is a collection of short stories by Vivian Vande Velde. Cloaked in Red takes Little Red Riding Hood and morphs her from fairy tale victim to feisty vixen (and I totally don’t mean that in a dirty way. You would be shocked at the amount of hits I’ve gotten that were looking for porn.)

I'm so pleased that Triple V decided to use the good old Crayola "red" instead of the more dramatic "crimson" or "scarlet."

I’m so pleased that Triple V decided to use the good old Crayola “red” instead of the more dramatic “crimson” or “scarlet.”

People, I kind of adored this book. I started cracking up during the introduction and loved all the quirky ways Little Red was depicted. The traditional Little Red Riding Hood is the embodiment of all these LAME female stereotypes. She’s super naive, she’s easily distracted, and she’s has all the common sense of a cotton headed ninny muggins. I mean, SHE CAN’T TELL HER GRANNY FROM A WOLF for crying out loud!

Vande Velde was all “um, no.” And then she made Little Red Riding Hood cool in a bunch of different ways. Every trick Vande Velde employed was delightful. Little Red outsmarts the Woodsman. Little Red turns the Woodsman into a frog. Granny rescues a wolf from a trap and takes her home. Little Red is not a hapless victim in any of these stories! She’s empowered and intelligent and occasionally magical.


It’s like Suri’s Burn Book up in here!

Y’all, this was SO MUCH FUN. It wasn’t long, it wasn’t change your life intense literature, but it was so darned refreshing. You like fairy tale re-tellings? Give it a whirl. Would I steer you wrong?

So Bookworms, is there anything about your favorite fairy tale character that annoys the crap out of you? How would you rewrite their story?

26 Responses to “You Sure Are Lookin' Good: Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde”

    • Words for Worms

      I find it hilarious that you hated Oprah’s choice of Anna Karenina translation but you love teen fiction. You’re a walking contradiction, my friend. Which happens to be a really fun Greenday song.

      • Ashley F

        I dislike Oprah’s picks because she’s trying to be all literary and high brow but then does crap like picking cliche “brainy” books and using over simplified translations.

        Teen fiction is a perfectly legitimate guilty pleasure!!!

        • Words for Worms

          LOL! Oh Ash. You’re delicious. And like… I think we should throw out “guilty pleasure.” There should be no shame in liking what you like, you know? Funny, I never really thought of Oprah’s stuff as high brow (I just stole them off my mom’s bookshelf) I saw it as accessible to Oprah’s audience. I’m intimidated by the overly high brow… Too much literary fiction makes my brain hurt.

      • Ashley F

        East of Eden, Anna Karenina, The Faulkner Collection, East of Eden, Great Expectations. She does a lot of popular fiction but she tosses in random “classics” and they are usually bad choices. I mean if you’re going to try and get the masses to read the classics you don’t pick William effing Faulkner. I mean that dude hurt my head and I read him in University.

        It’s like she tries too hard.

        Btw… beef with Oprah stems from the fact that when I worked at a bookstore for 5 years mom’s would come in gushing about that NEW Oprah book and then ask me for Anna Karenina. Like before Oprah they had never even heard about it. I’m all for getting people to read but come on.

        End Rant.

        And yeah. I love teen fiction. No shame in that. At least I’m not one of those crazy adults that got a Twilight tattoo or anything O_o

  1. JoulesDellinger

    You had me at cotton headed ninny muggins. Now I need to download her on my kindle so I have some fun lunchtime reading. =)

    • Words for Worms

      I think you’ll like it, Joules. It’s a fast read, and since they’re short stories, they lend themselves to having convenient stopping points for when babies try to chew on dogs and whatnot.

  2. Amanda

    This sounds like a fun book and I will definitely check it out. I love fairy tales in general, but as an adult I’ve realized that in nearly all of the traditional fairy tales the main female characters tend to be very naive and blindly trusting. Then again, they’re usually about young girls, and most youngsters are naive, regardless of gender.

  3. Alyssa

    HA! Vande Velde was all “um no” THANK GOD! I have only read one book by this author, an MG a verryyy long time ago but I am LOVING finding new twists on old tales. I don’t know why but Red always seemed like a BAMF to me – she is certainly one on Once Upon a Time which I LOOOOVEE so I am glad to find new stories with this same twist!

  4. Lyssapants

    We were juuust talking about Disney movies at work with all the therapists, and how sexist they all are.
    The Little Mermaid was my fave. It’s all about the hair. And her voice. But, girl, it ain’t all about the man.

  5. Rick Wiedeman

    Yes. The prince is so stupid he can’t recognize Cinderella without a shoe fitting? We men aren’t THAT dense.

    • Words for Worms

      I hope you like it, I’ll feel a little stupid if you think it’s dumb. Then again, we disagree on books all the time, and I still think you’re the coolest. So. If you must hate it, it’s alright.

Talk to me, Bookworms!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.