Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Carmine: A Little More Red

Sweet, Melissa (Author/Illustrator)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008. 40 pages
First published: 2005
ISBN: 9780618997176 (paperback)
9780618387946 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, dialogue, figurative language, setting, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Omen, pluck, quiver. Clutter, knoll. Vocabulary is key in this version of Little Red Riding Hood, which goes slightly off its rails, bringing in new characters, plot twists and a richly developed protagonist in Carmine.

Loose pencil and watercolour illustrations cram full spreads with comic-like insets. Carmine packs up her art supplies to go visit Granny. Carmine’s interest in visual art is reflected in the illustrations, as they deconstruct the artistic process: one spread shows Carmine’s rough drawings paired with an artist’s colour-array. Below this, a haiku for Granny is sketched in pencil. Meanwhile, Rufus the dog sniffs the air for the scent of a wolf.

Narration is supplemented by speech bubbles: “Really … Granny makes the best soup … oh, she makes it with bones!” says the wolf to Rufus. Young readers will love the graphic treatment of text; Granny’s cry of “WWWWOOOLLLfffff” jitters across the page. In this version, it’s a happy ending for all. The wolf steals bones for his pups, Granny and Carmine eat delicious soup while admiring the new drawing, and Rufus enjoys a soup bone left behind. This picture book offers much for little ones and sophisticated readers alike.

  •  

    Create a glossary of words and expressions. In small groups, use the words while acting out the story.

  •  

    Using a Venn diagram, compare this story to the original Little Red Riding Hood or to another fractured version of the fairy tale. 

  •  

    In teams, choose another fairy tale and rewrite it using the author’s alphabet format. Highlight the key word for that letter.

  •  

    Research the meaning and structure of haiku. Read the haiku that Carmine wrote. Create one of your own.

  •  

    Discuss the features found in this book. Make an anchor chart to keep track of them (e.g. character,text bubbles, headings, humour, poetry, foreshadowing, etc.).

  •  

    Discuss the artistic elements: drawing tools, sketches, colour plates. Find alternate names for colours (red = scarlet, carmine, ruby). Coloured pencils or paint chips can be helpful.

  •  Using an alphabet list, try to remember the words that were highlighted in the story. Complete the list while rereading the book. 
  •  

    Choose and reproduce a page from a familiar book. Imitating the author’s style, add highlights for lesser known words, dialogue, comments, poetry, etc. N.B.: This would work well with ICT.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To use creativity
  • To use information and communications technologies
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Drama
  • Visual Arts