Bound To Stay Bound

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School Library Journal - 06/01/2014 K-Gr 3—This action-packed fractured fairy tale is sure to excite young readers. Wolf is tired of getting beaten by his prey, so he sneaks into a martial-arts school to enhance his fighting skills. Feeling confident in his newfound abilities, he is eager to return to the hunt. He happens upon Little Red Riding Hood and thinks that he can trick her into becoming his next meal. What he doesn't bargain for, however, is that she has gone to ninja school, too. A sparring match ensues. A surprise visit from a tai chi master, though, gives Red the upper hand and puts Wolf on a new path of enlightenment. "The wolf was a mess./He'd had way too much stress./'I guess I'll give yoga a try.'" Children will gravatate to the rhyming text and exciting illustrations, created by Sumi brush work on rice paper. Speech bubbles and dialogue further enhance the story. The characters' facial expressions and body language will have kids laughing as Red and Wolf each try to best the other. A fun read-aloud, but also great for independent reading, this story piggybacks on Schwartz's Three Ninja Pigs (Putnam, 2012), in which the three little pigs share their ninja skills with their friends.—Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 07/01/2014 Once upon a time a wolf tormented three little pigs, but the pigs went to ninja school, and it didn’t work out so well for the wolf (The Three Ninja Pigs, 2012). So this time out, the wolf enrolls in ninja school himself (temporarily donning a David Carradine wig?)—the better to overcome his next victim. The wolf encounters a little girl in a red hood on the way to deliver a pie to her grandmother, but when the wolf-in-grandma’s-clothing brings out his ninja moves, Riding Hood has some martial arts of her own. The two are squarely matched, and it falls to Gran (fresh from tai chi) to settle the score. Once again, Schwartz’ comic verse scans beautifully, tripping through the (bamboo) forest to grandma’s house with vigor and attitude. Santat’s artwork, digitally manipulated Sumi brushwork on rice paper, divides the action into diagonal panels, maximizing the roundhouse impact. While the closing endpapers show the wolf at apparent peace, fans will be hoping he reverts to his nefarious ways for another fractured outing. Pair this with N. D. Wilson’s Ninja Boy Goes to School, reviewed on this page, for a ninja-themed story hour. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.

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