Baby book review: Lon Po Po by Ed Young

Marian’s First Review, 5-months-old: I love looking at this book! And the title sounds nice: Lon Po Po. Mommy looks at it very closely, so it must be important. The pictures are red and black, my favorite colors. Mommy says lots of words while she reads it, and lets me play in tummy time at the same time. It’s so much fun!

Marian’s Second Review, 9-months-old: It’s a paper book! I love paper. I love the way my teeth puncture the pages, and the way paper feels in my mouth. This book is great! Very yummy.

Cover of Lon Po Po by Ed YoungMargaret’s Review: Lon Po Po by Ed Young is one of my favorite picture book fairytale retellings. It’s a Chinese version of “Little Red Riding Hood,” and my favorite LRRH tale. The children are clever and have agency; they’re not about to be duped by a wolf pretending to be their grandmother. The dialogue gives lots of opportunity for voices, and Marian loves it when I use different voices for characters.

When I read this to Marian the first time she was five-months-old, and I expected to need to read it in multiple sittings. It’s a longer picture book, meant for children ages 5-8. And the illustrations are more abstract, not the typical bold, cutesy pictures of most board books. I was so surprised when she listened, raptly, to the entire picture book in a single sitting! She was mesmerized! Nowadays, I’m afraid she wants to eat Lon Po Po. She has more in common with the wolf than the children, and I feel more like the grandmother every day! But I look forward to returning to this when she’s older, and seeing if it she loves it as much as she did the first time I read it to her.

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