California: Little Red Riding Hootch

Little Red Riding Hootch

With a wolf that eats a grandmother and a little girl who gets into mortal trouble by talking with a stranger, the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood reeks of violence and veiled sexual terrors. But when a version of the story by Trina Schart Hyman reached Culver City, Calif., last fall, school officials thought they sniffed something really troubling: an implied endorsement of alcohol.

In Hyman's rendering, republished by Houghton-Mifflin in 1989, the items that Red Riding Hood carries to her grandmother include wine that, the text says, would "do her a world of good." Worse, once Grandma drinks...

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