Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: Honestly, Red Riding Hood Was Rotten! by Trisha Speed Shaskan

Honestly, Red Riding Hood Was Rotten!; The Story of Little Red Riding Hood as Told by the Wolf (Nonfiction Picture Books: The Other Side of the Story)

OF COURSE you think I did a horrible thing by eating Little Red Riding Hood and her granny. You don't know the other side of the story. Well, let me tell you...

Pages: 24 pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Capstone
Released: August 1, 2011

One of my all time favourite kids’ books is The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka. I remember reading this as a kid and falling in love. It was also the book that got me into fairy tale retellings, so it has a very special place in my heart. I can praise this book till high noon, because it was funny, it was insightful, and the illustrations were great. But I can’t.

So why did I bring it up? Well, when I heard about Honestly, Red Riding Hood Was Rotten! I was excited. It reminded me of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs with the Big Bad Wolf telling his side of the story about why he ate poor Granny and Little Red Riding Hood. Also, the artwork is cute and reminded me of Capstone’s other novel Secrets, Monsters, and Magic Mirrors.

The story is a simple one. The Big Bad Wolf is a vegetarian and a big lover of apples, whether it’s Golden Delicious, Fuji, Pink Lady, it doesn’t matter because he loves them all! But he’s run out of apples and he’s run out of food, now he’s starving and isn’t sure what to do.

Then one day he smells something wonderful and sees a big apple. The apple in question isn’t a Ginger Gold, Cameo, McIntosh, or even a Zuccalmaglio's Reinette. No, this huge incredibly rare apple is Little Red Riding Hood, who has clearly been snacking on a lot (and I mean a lot) of cakes. When the wolf runs off to Granny’s House expecting to see old women, he’s welcomed by the biggest Granny Smith he’s ever seen.

Gee, the Big Bad Wolf has it rough.



The story isn’t anything new, but Trisha does help the reader try to see things from a different perspective. And the artwork helps push this point by displaying the wolf’s desperation. The story is also cute and I’m sure any kid would love this.

But due to my love of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and the epicness of that story, I think I felt a tad disappointed in how the story ended up. That isn’t to say this is a bad book, it isn’t. I was just wanting more. The artwork is great though.

3.5 stars

This book was provided by net galley.

Review: Liar's Kiss by Eric Skillman and Jhomar Soriano

Liar's Kiss

Nick Archer isn't much of a detective, but he's managed to get himself one pretty sweet surveillance gig: once a week he sends a jealous millionaire the photos that prove his wife is faithful, leaving Nick plenty of free nights to spend making a liar of both himself and the client's wife. But when the client turns up dead, his cheating wife is the prime suspect and it's up to Nick to clear her - except Nick has an agenda of his own, and connections to this case that go deeper than anyone realizes.

Pages: 120 pages (Hardcover)
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Release: May 10, 2011


It starts off as a normal night for Nick Archer. He takes pictures of a millionaire's wife to show that she's faithful. Once that's done, he finally gets down to business by hooking up with his client's wife. It seems to be a win-win situation for Nick and his client's wife. He gets money for proving her innocent and she gets to have a little fun without her husband knowing.

After their midnight tryst is over, she goes home only to find her husband's cold dead body waiting for her. Needless to say, she becomes the prime suspect in the murder. She couldn't have done it though, she has a solid alibi. She was with Nick. Except if she says that she won't get the inheritance money and there are also those pictures that Nick took of her being a 'faithful' and 'loyal' wife.

Can Nick save her before the book is over? Dun Dun Dunnnnnnnnnn


Jhomar Soriano's artwork was my favourite thing about Liar’s Kiss. It's detailed in all the right places and really brings out the whole crime noir feel of this graphic novel. Eric Skillman's writing is crisp as well. Instead of including long pieces of dialogues, he made everything, for the most part, short and sweet with a lot of back and forth between the characters. It reminded me of an 80's crime drama, so I enjoyed that.

One of the things that I didn't like was how some of the characters were clich├ęd, but I think that's to be expected when you write in this genre. Some of the dialogues did seem a little over the top; and therefore, making the situation not as serious as it should be. The ending did wrap up a bit too quickly for my liking. As a lover of twists, I liked the ending. I just wish there were a few more pages to fully flesh it out and give it that oomph.

Other than that this was a fun quick read. The writing is crisp, the artwork is stunning, and the pacing made this book helped keep you engaged. There are a few problems, but if you're looking for a short graphic novel filled with betrayals, secrets, lies, and murder then you'll want to check this out.

3 stars

This book was provided by net galley