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With Love, Little Red Hen

Hidden Forest has a new resident. Little Red Hen and her seven little chicks have moved into a cottage and plan to grow a bountiful crop of corn in the nearby field. The problem is that none of the Red Hen's neighbors are willing to help with the hard work. "Not I," says the dog, the goose, and the lazy cat. So Goldilocks, who has heard about the new arrivals from her friend Little Red Riding Hood, comes up with a neighborly idea: Why don't all the residents of Hidden Forest chip in and work on the garden? Better yet, why not make it a surprise? Of course there are a couple of residents who might not be so cooperative. Will Wolfy Lupus and his cousin Fer O'Cious hatch a new plot of their own? Following the highly acclaimed Dear Peter Rabbit and Yours Truly, Goldilocks, Alma Flor Ada and Leslie Tryon offer young readers another peek into the world of their favorite storybook characters, revealed through the charming letters they write to one another.
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K-Gr 3-In this engaging sequel to Ada's Dear Peter Rabbit (1994) and Yours Truly, Goldilocks (1998, both Atheneum), the Little Red Hen and her chicks move into the Happy Valley section of the Hidden Forest. The hen's request for help from her lazy neighbors is met with the familiar chorus, "Not I." She writes of her new surroundings and adventures in letters to her friend Hetty Henny. Little does she know that she is the topic of conversation in letters between Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks, who secretly decide to give her a hand. But not all is happy in Happy Valley with Wolfy Lupus and Fer O'Cious trying to make meals out of their neighbors. Hetty has a close call, but her scissors, needle, and thread provide her with a way out of trouble. Finally, when the Little Red Hen throws a party for her neighbors, the bad guys lose their opportunity to make a chicken dinner and slink off in shame and disappointment. Tryon's charming pen-and-ink with watercolor illustrations depict a bucolic paradise with neighbors who look out for one another. Team the three Hidden Forest books with Janet and Allan Ahlberg's The Jolly Postman (Little, Brown, 1986) and Each Peach Pear Plum (Viking, 1979) for a fun look at nursery rhymes and at letter writing.-Bina Williams, Bridgeport Public Library, CT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Alma Flor Ada returns to the Hidden Forest a third time for With Love, Little Red Hen, illus. by Leslie Tryon, once again relaying her tale through correspondence from storybook characters. Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and others surprise the industrious but stressed-out Ms. Hen by secretly cultivating her corn, while two wolves plot to kidnap her for a chicken dinner. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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