‘Once Upon a Wild Wood,’ by Chris Riddell.

I am a huge fan of Chris Riddell’s beautiful work so was particularly excited to receive a package containing his first picture book in eight years (and a delicious gingerbread biscuit)!

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Turning traditional fairy tales on their heads, Little Green Raincape is on her way to Rapunzel’s party, deep in the dark wild woods.  On her way, she manages to dodge several fairy tale calamities – trolls, wolves and old ladies with apples, but she nearly comes unstuck when she treads on the sticky toffee doormat of a gingerbread house.

Luckily, Little Green Raincape keeps her wits about her as yet more fairy tale favourites threaten to delay her: disgruntled magic harps, grumpy bears and lovelorn beasts….. Will she EVER get there and will she be in time for a very special guest?

Each page of this book is a work of art, drawn in Riddell’s trademark style and full of clever details and references – a visual delight for anyone who reads it.

With a green-hooded heroine who’s too smart to fall for the usual fairy tale tricks and too kind to cause mischief for others, this clever book twists several well-known and beloved stories into one glorious tale. It also provides the opportunity to review with children just how careless some of the other fairy tale characters are and how we can learn from their mistakes.

“For the way through the woods is dark      and deep,

With many a lesson to gauge,

And the path you take is the story you make,

Each step a turn of the page.”

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books for sending me this title to review*

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