Reviews for The little red fort

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

An inventive child, Ruby finds some old boards and envisions possibilities. Who will help me build something? she asks her brothers. Oscar Lee ignores her. Rodrigo gives her a look that could melt Popsicles, and Josť almost falls off the fence. They all inform her that she doesn't know how. Then I'll learn, she says. Using a narrative framework and dialogue inspired by the Little Red Hen, this picture book shows Ruby drawing up plans, gathering supplies, and building a fort (with help from older family members). After the usual climax, the boys paint the fort, add a mailbox, and plant flowers, creating a happy ending for all. An appended do-it-yourself page offers pictures of relatively easy fort-building ideas, one made with sofa cushions and another with blankets draped over bunk beds. In her picture-book debut, Maier judiciously adapts one of the best nursery stories, keeps it simple, and makes it her own. The upbeat mixed-media illustrations are nicely varied in composition and perspective. A lively picture book that's fun to read aloud.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2018 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

In this update of "The Little Red Hen," debut author Maier casts a dark-haired girl named Ruby as the lead and her older brothers Oscar Lee, Rodrigo, and Josť as the gang that declines to help her ("No way" is Josť's stock reply). Undaunted, Ruby draws plans for a fort, gathers supplies, and assembles the structure without them. Then, of course, they want to use it. The scribbly lines and bright colors contributed by Sanchez (The Curious Cares of Bears) convey exuberance on every page. She pictures Ruby dreaming up her fort in the family bathroom, then consulting her father (who has a drafting board) and her mother (who wields an impressive collection of tools). Even Ruby's grandmother gets in on the action. Maier keeps her prose spare and preserves the rhythms and taglines of the original ("'Fine,' said Ruby. 'I'll hammer them myself.' And she did"). Ruby's satisfaction is palpable, and readers won't fail to grasp the message of self-sufficiency. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator's agent: Teresa Kietlinski, Bookmark Literary. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Ruby has a pile of boards, a fuzzy idea, and three brothers. And like the little red hen, Ruby's on her own. Her smart-aleck brothers have time for neither their pesky sister nor her project. " Who wants to help me draw the plans?' Ruby asked.Not me,' said Oscar Lee. I don't think so,' said Rodrigo. No way,' said Jos. I'm too busy.' " With the help of her mother and grandmother, Ruby saws and hammers until the backyard fort takes pride of place in the backyardmuch to the envious grumblings of the three boys. When Ruby won't let them inside, the brothers paint the fort, add a mailbox, and plant flowers in hopes of a reprieve. "Ruby was delighted." Mollified, she invites them in for a plate of cookies. Barcelonan artist Snchez incorporates fun details such as the strings of papel picado bedecking the fort and the brothers' chalk art. Her textured illustrations and sense of humor add depth to each dynamic scene. Throughout the story, Maier's little Latina go-getter breaks gender and cultural stereotypes. She outthinks and outperforms the boys. She uses her dad's drafting table and her mom's workshop, and female relatives help build the fort. In light of this, it's too bad the boys don't propitiate Ruby with further gender-norm-defying gestures, instead joining her to eat cookies she evidently has baked. Despite a lost opportunity, a mostly empowering story for children and their parents. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Ruby wants to build a fort. In true "Little Red Hen" fashion, her brothers won't help, so she learns how to do it herself. She enjoys solitary playtime in the completed fort until the boys finally get a clue. Maier's girl-power-meets-classic-folktale story line is engaging and entertaining. Sanchez's colorfully patterned and textured illustrations give dimension to a determined and endearing pigtailed heroine and her realistic multigenerational, multi-skin-toned family. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PreS-Gr 2-This book begins with the line, "Ruby's mind was always full of ideas." When the child finds some old boards she decides that she wants to build something. So she asks her brothers for help. They tell her she doesn't know how, but she says, "Then I'll learn." Each step of the way Ruby asks the boys to help, but every time they reply: "Not me," said Oscar Lee; "I don't think so," said Rodrigo; and "No way" said Josť. So each time Ruby does everything herself. She draws the plans, gathers the supplies, cuts the boards (with her mom's help), hammers the nails (with grandma's help). Finally when the fort is complete, Ruby asked who wants to play in it. Her three brothers definitely want to do that. But Ruby tells them that they haven't done anything to help her, so she will play in the fort by herself. The boys set about to make amends by fashioning a mailbox, planting flowers, and painting the fort fire-engine red. Ruby loves it! That evening she invites her brothers to a cookie feast, which they all enjoy in the fort. The bold and dynamic artwork captures the kids' personalities and creative energy. VERDICT This delightful retelling of the old story of "The Little Red Hen" is perfect for storytime or one-on-one sharing. It also reminds girls that they can do whatever they set their minds to do.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, formerly at Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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