Genre: MG Fantasy
Word Count: 66,000
Little Red Riding Hood has the most ridiculous name ever.
That’s why the twelve-year old girl decides to run away one dark night. Sounds like a good idea…start a new life far away, and no one will ever know she had such a dumb name. But when Little Red Riding Hood renames herself Pansy, she realizes a new name does not determine who she truly is. So she and her pet chicken set off in search of the Fountain of Identity. Unfortunately, forgetful Pansy is not a good match for the forest. There might be wolves.
But Pansy is not the only one with problems. There’s cynical Hansel in search of his sister; a desperate puss in boots; a boy named Jack with unwanted magic beans; and Goldie, a shy princess stuck in the Castle in the Clouds. The friends form “the Pact” and swear to help each other achieve their goals—on pain of chopping off their tails, or noses, or something. (That was never really decided.) And let’s not forget the greedy and malicious villains who are out to get them all. During this multipurpose quest bursting with magic, danger, and chuckles, Pansy must find serenity in her identity.
Little Red Riding Hood often wondered why her parents hadn’t named her Jane or Mary, or even Penelope. Being a simple girl, she never considered asking them why they’d given her an absurd mouthful for a name. Instead, the poor thing got to the point where she couldn’t bear to hear the words “Little Red Riding Hood” ever again. Quite frankly, I don’t blame her. I mean, who names their kid that?
After thinking her brain to the bursting point, Little Red Riding Hood got an idea. Why not run away? She could go very far and call herself something else. Then no one would know she ever had such a ridiculous name. No one would smirk when she introduced herself.
So one night, Little Red Riding Hood took special care not to fall asleep. She waited on a stool by her window, until she was sure her mother and father had gone to bed. Once they were dreaming soundly, it was time to plan her skedaddle. Though she’d never tried it before, Little Red Riding Hood was aware that running away involved packing.
“Let’s see,” she murmured, peering around her dark loft room. “I don’t want to mess this up. I’d better take all the important stuff.”
She dumped “the important stuff” into a pile—her red cloak, a quill pen and inkpot, seven silver buttons, and a small handheld mirror. These Little Red Riding Hood tied up in her hanky, except for the cloak, which seemed to work best when she wore it.