Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood is such a familiar and popular tale; most parents feel that it is suitable for children of all ages. There are so many web sites that offer the audio and animated versions of this story, as well as coloring books, fun pages and other activities with the Little Red Riding Hood theme. The parents should be aware, however, that not all versions are suitable for young kids, and some may even have violent or explicit motifs. Some adaptations of the story have been written in a way that could be simply scary for your little ones. The underlying message of the Little Red Riding Hood story has been interpreted on a great variety of levels – from the basic “don’t speak to strangers” to the heavy themes of adult predators and loss of innocence. Parents of young children should be aware that even this seemingly simple and innocent story has been exploited for dubious purposes and not all versions are suitable for kids. When parents decide to download or play a particular adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood for their little ones, they should use discretion as to which version they choose. As a parent of young children, I can attest to the fact that some adaptations I have seen may be downright traumatic and very frightening for kids.
Little Red Riding Hood – Basic Summary
Little Red Riding Hood was, originally, an old French fairy tale about a young girl who meets a Big Bad Wolf in the forest.
The story revolves around a young girl named Little Red Riding Hood, after the red hooded cloak or cape she always wears. The girl walks through the woods to deliver food to her grandmother, who was ill. There, a big bad wolf appears and asks Little Red Riding Hood where she is going, and she naïvely tells him. The wolf suggests she should pick some flowers, which she does. Meanwhile, he goes to the grandmother’s house and pretends to be the girl. After the grandmother lets him in, he swallows her whole, and waits for her, disguised as the grandma.
When the girl arrives, she right away notices that her grandmother looks somewhat strange. She then says, “What big hands you have!” In most versions, she continues her remarks about grandma’s strange appearance, culminating in “My, what big teeth you have!” to which the big bad wolf replies, “The better to eat you with” and swallows her up as well. A huntsman, however, comes to the rescue just at the right moment and cuts the wolf open. Grandma and Little Red Riding Hood emerge shaken, but unharmed. Some versions have the grandmother tied up in the closet rather than eaten, and the girl rescued by the hunter as the wolf is chasing her around the room.
Little Riding Hood Story and Activities Links Suited for Children
Here we have compiled a list of useful links to Little Red Riding Hood story that are suited for even very young children. Some of these sites also offer coloring books, fun pages and other activities.
This one has a regular version of the story with simple illustrations and related fun activities, such coloring and crafts pages for young children.
This website has a number of useful features, such as printer friendly format and a built in lessons for preschoolers on safety and abduction, in a way that’s particularly suitable for young children.
This page has a number of varied activities and fun pages such as word puzzles, mazes, coloring books and more, all with the familiar Little Red Riding Hood theme. Some of these activities are only suited for children who can read well.
Other Versions of Little Red Riding Hood
The website below has a compilation of assorted versions and adaptations of Little Red Riding Hood story which can be used to illustrate various moral lessons and messages:
Little Red Riding Hood (Charles Perrault) – This one doesn’t offer a good ending, but has a moral for young ladies to be aware of various “bad wolves” out there.
Little Red Cap (Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm )- this one suggests a second attack by another wolf, which is successfully foiled by “experienced” granny and Little Red Riding Hood who has learned her lesson really well.
Little Red Hood (Germany/Poland) – basically more of the traditional version we are used to, with the huntsman coming to rescue just in time, maybe just a bit too heavy on the details of the wolf-cutting and skinning part.
Little Red Hat (Italy/Austria) – kind of a gruesome version involving an ogre instead of a wolf, who kills and disembowels grandma and then eats up the girl with no happy end-rescue part.
The True History of Little Golden-Hood (Charles Marelles) – in this version, the girl is actually saved by the special magic hood she wears.
There are other versions of the story, as well as numerous video and audio renditions, some of which are downright inappropriate for children or may even have explicit adult content. Parents must exercise caution and double check their sources, in order to protect their children from exposure to inappropriate themes and ideas that can be found even within contents entitled “Little Red Riding Hood”.
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