A palette of Autumnal browns and greys characterises the exquisite collage forest landscapes in this stylish pop-up version of the Grimms’ tale. Leaves, branches, the wolf’s fur, grandmother’s cottage are all rendered in warm sepia tones and rich textures. Even Red Riding Hood’s cloak is an earthy shade of red. Each double page opens to a dramatic pop-up. First the dense forest rises up in multi-layers of foliage. The next scene focuses in on grandmother’s cottage, the next (getting closer to danger) on her bed and the next on the wolf’s terrifyingly open jaws in an almost filmic crescendo.
While her paper-engineering and artwork command attention, Rowe’s retelling of the tale is rather stilted (Red Riding Hood is a ‘sweet little girl’) and it is not clear why her wolf needs to escape by running back into the forest. Hopefully a more confident storytelling voice will emerge in time for her next venture for which this exceptional paper-engineering debut promises well.