This month we are doing an interesting book-to-movie, we are going to read Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright which is a novel based on a movie that is based on a fairy tale. I thought an interesting way to approach this would be for use to read the original fairy tale, then read the book and then watch the movie. I have to admit the visual imagery of the movie that I have seen in the previews has me very interested and intrigued to see if the plot line lives up to the images.
The tale of Red Riding Hood originally started as an oral tale told in several different countries, the earliest record being told in the 14th Century by Italian peasants. The earliest written version is Le Petit Chaperon Rouge by Charles Perrault in 1697, who is credited with adding the red riding hood to the story. You can read Perrault’s version for free from Project Guttenberg here or you can get a free version for your Kindle. I studied a written version in my Children’s Literature class in my undergrad degree and the version we read was a very dirty tale, not the moralized version that Perrault wrote down. You can read a whole history of the fairy tale at Wikipedia. (Image a woodcut by Gustave Dore 1883)
The novel version we are reading is Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright published by Poppy, a division of Hachette, available January 2011. An interesting thing the publisher is doing is the last chapter of the book is not available until March 2011 in connection with the release of the movie. You can read an excerpt here. The publisher has released in enhanced ebook copy that includes video footage of the director, author and screen writer discussing their creative partnership. There are also sketches of the sets and costumes and audio discussing many different aspects of the film creation.
I haven’t read the book yet but some things to keep in mind when reading and watching:
-How close to the original fairytale does the book and the movie stay?
-What does the red cape represent?
-What do you think about reading a book based on a screenplay based on a fairy tale?
-Do you think it works? Do you think it is just a shameful attempt to get more money from movie goers?
So pull up a book, a bucket of popcorn, and let the fun begin!