Petite Rouge – A Cajun Red Riding Hood, was written by Mark Artell and illustrated by Jim Harris. Little Red is replaced by a duck, the forest is replaced by the swamp, and the wolf is replaced by an alligator named Claude.

It’s a top notch read aloud — if you read the text as it stands, you’ll sound like you have a perfect cajun accent. Most appealing to my 4 and older kids and best when they’re wide awake, because listening children have to concentrate — the accent is thick and there a several unfamiliar words. (Luckily, there’s a simple glossary at the back for those of us un-acquainted with Cajun cuisine.)

The story is charming and the illustrations are terrific. Lots of humorous details: Mona Lisa as a duck, the enormous alligator in Grandma’s tiny bed with her frilly night clothes on. Just a fun, fun book.

P.S. — More favorite picture books.