Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China
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Putnam Juvenile (April 16, 1996)
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Lon Po Po: A Review
This beautifully illustrated and written book is about 3 young girls who are left by them selves while their mother goes to their grandmother's house. While gone, a wolf who pretends to be their Granny Wolf, comes and tries to trick the girls. The wisest of the girls is Shang who figures out the wolf's intentions and comes up with a plan of her own. She convinces the wolf to climb a tree that has the best ginko nuts that the wolf just can't resist. After the girls hoist him up with a rope, they let go and the wolf dies. By the time the mother returns the girls are safe.
This story made a connection with me because when I read it to my students, I realized that they could compare and contrast the American version of Little Red Riding Hood to Lon PoPo. Showing the differences and similarities will help the students understand how different authors add some of their culture into their writing. Even though the stories have different names, settings, characters, and ways to solve the problem the stories have a very similar plot. I would recommend this book to children from ages 6-9.
Lon Po Po: A Red Riding hood Story
Mother of Sorrows School
This is a beautifully illustrated Red Riding Hood type of story from China. It is about three little girls that are left at home while their mother goes to visit their grandmother. The mother instructs her daughters to keep the door locked, when she leaves and to let no one in. An old wolf watches the mother leave and he tricks the girls into letting him in the house by saying he is their Po Po, grandmother. The oldest girl realizes he's a wolf and she convinces her sisters and they come up with a plan to trick the wolf. I enjoyed the story and think it would be a great way to teach students about different versions of stories. A good assignment for older students would be to have them write a comparison of the original Red Riding Hood story that they know and this one.
Using Fairy Tales in High School Art Classes
I have to admit that I picked up this Caldecott Medal-winning book for its illustrations, not necessarily for the story itself. Yet after reading this tale, I can better appreciate the author and artist’s use of bold colors and mixed media to intensify the timeless message behind the written word. In the tradition of many Asian paintings, the illustrations in this book are divided into panels and cropped in unique ways as to remove detail, adding some mystery and moving the eye across the page from broad watercolor washes to small, detailed lines in pastel.
While the Scholastic website provides a nice lesson plan for using the book in first and second grade classes, I plan on using it for my high school drawing and illustration classes as we study color, value, scale and proportion, contrast, rhythm, and blending techniques. I plan on dissecting the book and dividing the pages among illustration teams who will work collaboratively to identify strengths and weaknesses in the drawings as they relate to the mood and imagery created by the text. There are several pages where the illustrations are more abstract and may not be appealing to the target audience of 6 and 7 year olds, so I will have students create a third or fourth panel illustration for the pages they analyzed as a visual problem-solving challenge.
My plan is to use this assignment to introduce an arts-related career to my students and as a means of connecting our high school art studio to our elementary feeder schools. I believe that the story of Lon Po Po provides us with more than a way to build a bridge across cultures but also a way to reopen a bridge between different grades and schools.
Review of Lon Po Po
Book: Lon Po Po (A Red-Riding Hood Story From China
By: Ed Young
Name: Janna Arvidson
Grade/Subject: 5tTheh Grade/All
School: Hometown Elementary School
The grade level is appropriate for K-3, but my students could definitely benefit from working on some more complex reading skills with this book. My students also do reading buddies with a kindergarten class and it would be a great story to read with them along with the original Little Red-Riding Hood, comparing and contrasting the two stories.
This story takes a commonly known folktale and changes a little of the culture of the story to ,keeping the same story line, but using Chinese names, trees, and putting it in the setting of an Asian culture.
Twist on classical red riding hood
Lon Po Po
By Ed Young
Review by: Jessica Glenn- Elementary Substitute- Central PA
This is a story about three children and their Po Po (Grandmother). It is a classic Red Riding Hood tale with a twist to it. The girls’ mother sets out to visit their Po Po because it is Po Po’s birthday. Mother warns them to be good and to close the door tight. That night a wolf shows up disguised as Po Po. They let the wolf in but soon realize as they lie down for bed that this is not Po Po. They trick Lon Po Po, (Granny wolf) to go up into the ginko tree and Lon Po Po falls and dies. By the time their mother comes back, the three girls are safe and sound.
This story would be great to be used with children in second, third, or even fourth grade. The students could read the American version of Little Red Riding Hood and compare and contrast the stories. Students could also be asked to comment on the artwork of Ed Young who was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1990 for this work.