Rosa and the Red Apron by Joan Leotta. Illustrated by Rebecca Michael Zeissler. Book Review.

buy link – Rosa and the Red Apron

This is a story about a little girl named Rosa who, instead of napping, insists that her mother read the story of the Little Red Hen to her. Afterwards she helps her mother make cookies for her grandmother’s birthday celebration. Mother puts a red apron on Rosa to keep her clothes clean. Her mother praises her for being such a good helper. At her grandmother’s birthday party, Rosa receives a gift of her own red apron.

It may seem that this book is a bit dated, but I think there is nothing wrong with encouraging a child to help her parents with whatever work is needed. Learning how to cook and bake are basic life skills and recognizing a child’s growth and contribution with an apron seems fitting. I know my children liked receiving their own personalized aprons and wearing them whenever we baked or cooked together. I like the idea that a red apron is traditional in this family.

When Rosa and her mother read the story book together, they act out the voices and the actions. I think it would be great to follow this book with an actual reading of the traditional folktale. The message of The Little Red Hen is still important today.

The book has pictures on the left and words on the right. The pictures are well drawn with no backgrounds. The family is of African descent. One thing I thought was a little off, Rosa seems too tall for a child to be napping and reading The Little Red Hen. The pictures portray the emotional bond between family members well.

It would be sweet to give a child this book along with a red apron, or pattern meaningful to you, in recognition of their contributions in the home.


Joan Leotta will be interviewed on this book June 14, 2017. LINK


Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

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