"I bought this book because I loved the illustrations and we are a city family so the detailed photos are great to look at. But. Why would u make a children's book about a girl leaving her moms house to see nana and get attacked by a gang?!?! Something is wrong with the writer of this book and I would imagine the only people who would read this book to their child are sociopaths. I can't believe I spent $20 on the book. Leaned my lesson to read front to back before buying. I do intend to overwrite the words with my own story in a sharpie. Oh and do believe me when I say not only the words are graphic but the pictures are as well." julie said.
"feel bad saying this because I appreciate creative retakes on classic fairy tales, but I didn't enjoy this version at all. I didn't like the art, the layout, anything. It reminded me of a really horrible cultural art collection that for whatever reason acquires great reviews and is unjustly displayed next to real art." Shelli said.
"I think the other reviews here just don't understand picture books at all. The traditional picture books that they seem to be expecting only use (cute) pictures to accompany kids stories, because very young children lack the vocabulary to understand complex descriptions.
This isn't a traditional picture book and isn't for young children, though.
Modern picture books by people like Roberto Innocenti, are designed for the picture to be an essential, critical literacy extension to the book. If you only read the text, you would have no idea what's going on. You need the pictures to understand. You need to 'read' the pictures deeply.
The Girl in Red is for older children (aged 10+). There are tremendous, dark social messages about the influence of the media, premature adulthood, definitions of masculinity and femininity, the fate of modern families, the role of technology, accountability for one's actions, and so on. It intentionally takes a fairy tale and says - look, this is what would really happen. Real life dangers often end up with unhappy endings. And, in fact, traditional fairy tales (from Germany, at least) were very grim and shocking to kids - intentionally to teach them the consequences of making bad decisions (read Struwwelpeter as a prime example!).
Unfortunately, book stores (including those online) always seem to list picture books under the aged 3-4 years category, which is completely wrong.
People like Roberto Innocenti are showing that we should stop thinking that picture books are just for little kids. Real picture books that require critical thinking and visual awareness skills are for older kids, and expand upon traditional literacy skills." Pear Tree Education said.