Redlocks and the Three Bears by Claudia Rueda

Redlocks and the Three Bears by Claudia Rueda
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

KNOCK! KNOCK! When the Three Bears answer the door, it’s not Goldilocks they meet, but a stranger from a different story. It’s Little Red Riding Hood—and the Big Bad Wolf is close behind her! Still, much unfolds as expected: porridge is eaten, a chair is broken, and there is a girl asleep in Baby Bear’s bed. Does Little Red fit in this book after all? Perhaps it’s the Wolf who will surprise us. With a bit of courage and much compassion, the Bears and Little Red learn that characters, just like the stories we tell, can change over time.

In this quirky combination of familiar fairy tales, Claudia Rueda tells a new story about what happens when we open our minds, hearts, and homes to the utterly unexpected.

Living happily ever after can look a little different for everyone, especially if you’re a talking bear who simply wants to finish their porridge in peace.

Ms. Rueda had a wonderful imagination that she put to full use in this tale. Some of my favorite scenes were the ones that pushed the boundaries of the children’s and fantasy genres so much that I grinned when I realized where the author was leading everyone. She certainly knew how to keep her audience guessing.

I would have liked to see a little more time spent resolving the conflict between Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. She was so worried about him in the beginning that I was surprised by how quickly that was all sorted out. As much as I loved the references to other fairy tales, it would have made more sense to me as a reader for this to be given extra space to be worked out between those two characters.

With that being said, this was an adorable retelling and mashup of two classic fairy tales. I appreciated the fact that the narrator assumed everyone reading it already knew how those stories traditionally played out and immediately moved on to showing how everything was different in this version. Writing it this way meant that my interest levels remained high, and I was eager to see what happened next. There were plenty of opportunities to pause and explain certain plot twists to little ones who might have questions about certain plot twists, too.

Redlocks and the Three Bears was imaginative and fun.

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