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This week I am pleased to bring you a collection of reviews of books from the Lion Forge family. I was luck enough to spend a bit of time with the great people at Lion Forge the weekend before last at NCTE, and their discount at the show was too good for me to pass up! Luckily for me, the books I’ve read so far have been super cool, and I look forward to sharing them with you throughout the week…
Title: The Little Red Wolf
Author(s): Amelie Flechais and Andrea Colvin
Publisher: Lion Forge Comics (2017)
Age Rating: 13+
Where so I start with this one…?
The first thing that I should tell you about this book is that the art is beautiful:
It looks painted. It looks hand drawn. It looks patched with mixed-media. It looks like a classic kids book with a strange lean. There is no denying that this tale is not one for the normal bedtime story. The story that accompanies this unique art experience is just as idiosyncratic. We have the Little Red Riding Hood tale flipped on its head as we follow a little wolf dressed in a red coat as he delivers a dead bunny to his grandmother, who is too old to hunt for herself. The little guy gets lost, captured by a little blonde girl, and his life is put in serious danger.
Two folk-type songs engulf the third act of this tale, giving readers an attempt to fill in holes that exist in the world that we have been given to explore with Little Wolf. These songs, like most of the actual dialogue and narration slightly punctuate small parts of the page, allowing the art to speak for itself. I actually prefer the pages with no art in this book, and in another world, I’d love to see this book re-imagined with no words at all.
My students are constantly looking for strange or horrific works of graphic fiction, and while I would not qualify this book as a tale of horror, it is unsettling. This book will stick with you for a bit after reading it. If you give this to a kid, they will want to chat about it. These are the best types of stories. Read this one on your own. Let it hit you how it will, then pass it on, and talk about it. If you love the art of a graphic novel as much as the story, or even more, you’ll especially dig this work.
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