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Once Upon a Wild Wood Reviews

Once Upon a Wild Wood by Chris Riddell

Once Upon a Wild Wood

Chris Riddell

4.27 out of 5

5 reviews

Category: Children's
Imprint: Macmillan Children's Books
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication date: 23 Aug 2018
ISBN: 9781509817061

A richly imagined story from the award-winning Chris Riddell, packed full of familiar fairy tale characters as you've never seen them before.

  • The BooksellerEditor's Choice
4 stars out of 5
Fiona Noble
18 May 2018

"a smart young heroine, playful storytelling full of wit and detail, and rich, layered pictures"

Little Green Raincape is on her way to Rapunzel's party, a journey that takes her deep in the wild woods, a route strewn with fairy tale perils and characters as you've never seen them before. In his first standalone picture book for eight years there are many familiar Riddell traits: a smart young heroine, playful storytelling full of wit and detail, and rich, layered pictures in his unique style. Expect a high spec gift package with double die-cut cover and finishes galore....

Reviews

  • The Sunday TelegraphChildren's Book of the Year
4 stars out of 5
Emily Bearn
14 Oct 2018

"Riddell's drawings lend old-fashioned enchantment to this thoroughly modern tale."

So Little Green Rain Cape – the heroine of a sumptuous picture book by Chris Riddell, the former Children's Laureate - has a lot to live up to. The story weaves in some famous fairy-tale characters - Goldilocks, Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood – but Green is Riddell's own invention. We meet her marching through a wood, holding a stick and carrying a backpack. As she stumbles upon fairyland's gallery of villains, she outwits them all... Riddell, a former political cartoonist, is one of our most successful children's authors and illustrators, with books including his popular Ottoline and Goth Girl series. Here, the emphasis is on humour. "Fairy-tale problems!"' sighs Thumbelina, summing up the story's catalogue of comic mishaps. Riddell's drawings lend old-fashioned enchantment to this thoroughly modern tale.

5 stars out of 5
Book Trust Reviewer
1 Oct 2018

"A truly delightful picture book that children of all ages will love"

A truly delightful picture book that children of all ages will love, especially slightly older children who have just learnt to read themselves (the book has quite a sophisticated air to it that will be appreciated by 6 and 7 year olds). Chris Riddell’s beautiful illustrations will set children’s imaginations alight and the book closes with a hint that there might be further adventures...

5 stars out of 5
Imogen Russell Williams
25 Aug 2018

"...an elegant subversion of the fairytale canon"

...an elegant subversion of the fairytale canon, in which Little Green Rain Cape encounters an apple-proffering old lady, three grumpy bears and a disconsolate Beast, pining for his missing Beauty. She puts wrongs to right, dances the night away at Rapunzel’s birthday party and heads off in search of more adventure. Riddell’s layered landscapes, full of sly detail, invite exploration.

  • The TimesBook of the Year
4 stars out of 5
Alex O’Connell
11 Aug 2018

"A book to read happily ever after."


Riddell has chosen the Shreky, mash-up option. His “Little Green Raincape” (why not?) sets off through the woods with her stick, clumpy boots, a good book, breadcrumbs and an invitation to Rapunzel’s party. He presumes knowledge: when she meets “a helpful wolf”, “a kindly old lady” and “a friendly troll” our dramatic irony bell rings loud and clear... When Green meets Little Red Riding Hood, who admires her cape politely, it’s a licence for Thumbelina, those toe-tapping princesses and a prince to join the caravan. He’s not your regular Charming, though: he bought his coach secondhand, it’s stalled and he looks beaten after a life chasing exhausting royal totty. “Fairytale problems!” sighs Thumbelina, in one of many lovely, witty lines. Reaching Rapunzel’s tower they still have to get past the bouncers. “We’re friends of Snow White,” shouts the seventh dwarf.” They make it and a special guest shows up. A book to read happily ever after.