Eleven classic tales are retold with an injection of Latino culture, providing a twist on the traditional forms while sustaining a freshness all their own. The title story, “Red Ridin’ in the Hood,” moves the setting to the barrio, where Red decides to brave dangerous Forest Street in order to reach her abuelita and encounters the menacing wolf in a thumping Chevy lowrider. Some stories are set in the Mexican countryside; in “Belleza y La Bestia,” the beautiful heroine is a defender of the Revolution and teaches the beast about the righteousness of the freedom fighters. “El Día de los Muertos,” a retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, takes place in the time of the Aztecs and casts Orpheus as the feather-maker Nochehuatl.
These and the other cuentos in this book are further brought to life by abundant illustrations, by turns comical and poignant.