Mahogany: A Little Red Riding Hood Tale (Hardcover)

Mahogany: A Little Red Riding Hood Tale By JaNay Brown-Wood, John Joven (Illustrator) Cover Image
By JaNay Brown-Wood, John Joven (Illustrator)
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A clever, Black contemporary twist on Little Red Riding Hood, Mahogany embraces the beauty—and magic—within herself to thwart the Big Bad Wolf.

Mahogany is a spunky girl who loves to sew, listen to music, and wear fresh kicks. On the way to deliver homemade honey cornbread to Grandma's house, she encounters a hungry wolf. Because Mahogany is clever, she stands by a willow tree, where her long, black curly hair blends with the branches. She hides in the forest, where her ebony skin merges with the shadows. And Mahogany knows the lavender scent of her skin will mix with the smells of flowering plants, tricking any wolf nose.

Ultimately, Mahogany’s Blackness, her wits, and her sewing skills all save her in this refreshing, celebratory, and innovative retelling.

About the Author

JaNay Brown-Wood is an early childhood professor and the author of several books for children, including Grandma's Tiny House, Imani's Moon, and Shhh! The Baby's Asleep. She also contributed to the poetry anthologies Thanku: Poems of Gratitude and No World Too Big . Much of JaNay's work is intended to celebrate casual diversity, primarily featuring Black characters. JaNay lives in California.

John Joven is the illustrator of The Plan for the Gingerbread House and Preschool, Here I Come!. He grew up in Bogotá, Colombia, and studied graphic design at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He still lives there with his wife, Ana, and two children, Avril and Ian. When not illustrating, he enjoys spending quality time with his children, playing soccer with his friends, watching movies, and traveling.

Praise For…

In this fairy-tale retelling, a Black, red-cloaked fashionista makes her way through the woods to her grandmother’s house.
Purple-curled Mahogany loves sewing and listening to music. As the book opens, Mahogany shows off the fruits of her labor: a gorgeous red patchwork cape. Momma asks her to take some honey cornbread to G-Ma but warns her to stay alert, and Mahogany sets out…with loud music from her smartphone blaring. As the distracted child stops to pick a bouquet of lavender, a sly wolf, who’s been lurking, introduces himself. Mahogany tells him she’s on her way to G-Ma’s. He asks about the cornbread, and a frightened Mahogany hands it over—before tossing her cape over his head and fleeing. The story generally stays true to the main plot points of the original story, with some clever changes that will satisfy modern sensibilities (no animals are harmed in this retelling). Mahogany eventually uses her wits and her sewing prowess to save the day, while it’s G-Ma who delivers well-known lines such as “What big eyes you’ve got.” This new version is still a morality tale about being aware of one’s surroundings and not talking to strangers, but with a fun, tech-y twist. Human characters present Black, and Brown-Wood gently folds an empowering message about brown skin into her text (“sunlight that kissed the melanin deep in [Mahogany’s] dark skin”). Joven’s cartoonish characters inhabit an enticing, beautifully textured world.
A hip adaptation of a beloved story.
Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9781623543679
ISBN-10: 1623543673
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Publication Date: March 19th, 2024
Pages: 32
Language: English