Puss in Boots, by Charles Perrault, illustrated by Clementine Sourdais; Little Gestalten, $16.95, 32 pages, all ages.
Little Red Riding Hood, by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, illustrated by Clementine Sourdais; Little Gestalten, $16.95, 32 pages, all ages.
Just as every generation reinvents Shakespeare to suit its own needs, we also reimagine classic fairytales. Here, the beloved tales of “Puss in Boots” and “Little Red Riding Hood” are accompanied by the intricate cut-paper illustrations of French artist Clementine Sourdais. Designed to be read like a traditional book, the cutouts on each page fold onto each other, creating a complex masterpiece visible from both the front and back boards. Sourdais employs a spare color palette of black and white, plus an accent color – blood red for “Little Red Riding Hood” and regal yellow in “Puss in Boots.” When opened accordion style, each image is full of vibrant detail. Another surprise awaits readers if they take a flashlight to the books and project the pictures of wolves, cats and wayward little girls onto a wall. These tiny, charming treasures – each volume measures a dainty 5.5 inches by 6 inches – breathe new life into stories almost two centuries old and will delight young readers and pop-up collectors alike.