Page from “Red Riding Hood,” Lydia L.A. Very, 1863. Cover, right. Photos by Shawn Miller.
Frankly, we’ve always wondered about how quick on the uptake Little Red Riding Hood actually was. Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you can’t tell the difference between your granny and a cross-dressing wolf…well. Bless her heart.
It’s Children’s Book Week, so we present you this marvelous 1863 edition of “Red Riding Hood” (she hadn’t achieved “little” status yet), a tiny, 18-page book cut in the shape of the star herself, with the aformentioned wolf at her feet. Written by Lydia Louisa Anna Very (read those middle names again) and published by the Boston publisher L. Prang Co., it survives today in the Library, nearly a century and a half later. Click on the link above to traipse through the deep dark forest for yourself.
Moral of the story: Listen to your mom and make sure granny hasn’t shape-shifted on you since Thanksgiving.
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