"Red's in the Hood" and "Beanstock" -- Hardly Grimm
    by John Cech

That's part of the theme song for Judy and David's "Red's in the Hood, A New Spin on Little Red Riding Hood" from The Children's Group, a Canadian company that has been producing acclaimed classical music recordings for young people for more than a decade.

It's Jakob Grimm's birthday today, and one wonders what the German linguist and folklorist would think of an adaptation like this of one of the fairy tales that he and his brother published in order to help preserve German culture.

Judy and David Gershon, the creative forces behind this elaborate musical production (it comes as an enhanced CD-Rom that can be played on a computer), have taken the story in an entirely new direction -- the wolf's problem is his appetite for chocolate chip cookes and his penchant for personal comforts (which is what gets him in the end). Granny rides a Harley and loves hip-hop; she's tough as nails and isn't taking any nonsense from the wolf. And Little Red, who's loved throughout the 'hood because of her generosity and kindness, learns a lesson about staying on the right path. Here she is in a duet with her father marching to his advice:

If you and your children like this kind of free-wheeling, non-threatening, kinder, gentler treatment of traditional tales, Judy and David have three others waiting for you -- Goldi-rocks, PigMania, and a sixties-styled rock version of "Jack and the Bean Stalk" -- "BeanStock." Here's a jumping bean song to take us out:

Copyright 2002 by John Cech

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Wednesday, 04-Sep-2002 22:21:29 EDT

"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."