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About the Book

Red Riding Hood by James Marshall

Red Riding Hood is walking to her granny’s house. Her mother tells her not to talk to strangers while in the deep, dark woods. Will Red Riding Hood listen to her mother and make it safely to her granny’s house?


Red Riding Hood is taking some custard to Granny’s house because Granny is not feeling well. Red Riding Hood’s mother warns her not to talk to strangers, but she meets a charming wolf along the way and can’t resist him. The tricky wolf runs ahead to Granny’s house and eats her. When Red Riding Hood arrives, he eats her, too. Luckily a hunter comes along and helps Granny and Red Riding Hood escape from inside the wolf.

About the Author

James Marshall wrote over 70 books for children. He also drew the pictures for many of his books. James Marshall was born in Texas and studied music for many years. After he hurt his hand and could not play instruments, James decided to write books. George and Martha is James Marshall’s most well-known book. He won the Caldecott Honor for his version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.Information about James Marshall

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Once upon a time there were tales that enchanted students and pen pals alike! These traditional tales, passed down for generations charm readers with their rhythm, repetition and candor. Great fun to read and retell, they’re packed with action. So, get ready to rediscover the traditional tales of your childhood. Good will battle evil, animals will talk and there’s always a lesson to learn!

Traditional tales are stories that have been told again and again. They have been passed down from generation to generation. Thus, their authorship is unknown. And what’s their purpose? To both entertain and teach. They are also known as folktales. More...

Thinking and Reading Questions

  1. If Red Riding Hood did not stop to talk to the wolf, how else might he have tricked her? What else could he have done?
  2. What mistake did Red Riding Hood make? What should she have done instead?
  3. Do you think Red Riding Hood learned a lesson? What was the lesson?
  4. Do you think the wolf was mean or just hungry? What words would you use to describe the wolf?

Issues to Consider

  • This version stays very close to the original story of Little Red Riding Hood.
  • The dialogue is witty and clever.
  • As in the original, the wolf eats grandmother and Red Riding Hood. In the end, a hunter cuts open the wolf to free them. This version is not gory or graphic, but students may be disturbed by the action.


  • Pages: 30
  • Reading level: Lexile, 520L; Accelerated Reader, 3.2
  • Special book features: the illustrations are true to James Marshall’s style; characters are recognizable and similar to his other famous characters.


Word: considerate
Book: She was kind and considerate, and everybody loved her. (p. 1)
Context:A considerate friend gives help when you need it.

Word: tarry
Book: “Now, whatever you do,” she said, “go straight to Granny’s, do not tarry, do not speak to strangers.” (p. 5)
Context: You can’t be so late, so do not tarry on the way to school.

Word: chat
Book: “Care to stop for a little chat?” (p. 8)
Context: I like to chat with my friends on the phone.

Word: charming
Book: But the wolf had such charming manners. (p. 10)
Context: All of the kids liked the charming boy.

Word: escort
: “Allow me to escort you,” he said. (p. 10)
Context: My friend will escort me because I don’t know the way.

Word: lurking
Book: “You never know what might be lurking about.” (p. 10)
Context: The bad guy was lurking behind the bank.

Word: furious
Book: Granny was furious at having her reading interrupted. (p. 16)
Context: He was furious when he saw his broken toy.

Word: distressed
Book: Red Riding Hood was distressed at seeing her grandmother so changed. (p. 22)
Context: The bad news distressed her.

Word: racket
Book: A hunter passing by was alarmed by the frightful racket. (p. 26)
Context: The big trucks were making a racket.

Word: grateful
Book: “We’re ever so grateful,” said Red Riding Hood. (p. 28)
Context: We are grateful for the good things in our lives.

Word: fairy tale
: a made up story that teaches a lesson and usually has magical events
Context: The Three Little Pigs is a fairy tale.

Word: magical
Definition: having the power to do something that could not happen in real life
Context: The fairy has magical powers. She can fly.

Word: folktale
: a story made up by common people and passed down by telling and retelling
Context: A folktale is story that is passed down over time. It is told over and over again.

Word: oral tradition
: a spoken story passed down through generations, often by a storyteller or a family member
Context: An oral tradition is a story told over and over. It is passed down by word of mouth and not written down.