Review Blog

Mar 14 2018

Little Stunt Riding Hood by Matt Cosgrove

cover image

Koala Books / Scholastic Australia, 2018. ISBN 9781742992501
(Age: Primary 8+) In this re-imagined fairy tale, the author has taken the technique of changing parts of the story to the extreme. This is a whimsical and witty tale involving STUNT Riding Hood who rides dirt bikes and enters [him]self in a race against a werewolf to get to Granmaster's house. The reversal and exaggeration of roles in this story would really benefit a class learning about genre. The novel itself was quite funny, not just with the ussal fart jokes but genuinely unpredictable twists and turns. The character of Stunt Riding Hood would definitely have a class of year 3/4s (and up) students in stitches.
With the premise of adapting his sister's original fairy tale, the author throws the traditional story to the wind. The author's illustrations added hugely to the story, including a how to draw Stunt Riding Hood step-by-step. The other artistic aspect of this novel, is that the additions to the text have been physically cut and pasted from a newspaper. This in itself would be a really interesting literacy project for students to vary from the good old "change the ending" task. It also boasts no sloppy kisses, no handsome princes and no happily ever after, which would appeal to those with low literacy and high interest.
The novel itself is only 95 pages, but the end of the book includes a short story of the Seven Ninjas. This one was more comic-like in structure and was not nearly as clever as the story line seemed poorly thought out. Students who find burp jokes funny may enjoy it, but it added very little to the book itself.
Cosgrove has a series of these books out, including SnowMan and the Seven Ninjas (Snow White), and Attack of the Giant Robot Zombie Mermaid (The Little Mermaid?) which I'm sure will have a cult following of their own in no time.
Clare Thompson

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