Cover image for Ruby
Emberley, Michael.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Little, Brown, [1990]

Physical Description:
25 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 21 cm
While taking cheese pies to her Granny, Ruby, a small but tough-minded little mouse, forgets her mother's advice not to talk to cats.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.3 0.5 159744.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Ruby, a small but determined mouse in a red cloak, outwits a dastardly cat in this adaptation of the Red Riding Hood story.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-6. In transplanting "Little Red Riding Hood" from the country to the streets of Boston, Emberley plays fast and loose with some of the traditional elements of the story. Ruby, the no-nonsense mouse who is the heroine here, shares only her taste in coats with the easily duped girl who first made the perilous journey to grandmother's house. The quick-thinking Ruby's trek across town to deliver her ailing granny some freshly baked pies proves fraught with all sorts of danger; in fact, the bizarre collection of creatures stalking Beantown's streets look a lot like the motley crew from the bar scene in Star Wars. There are slimy reptiles dressed in gang clothes and looking to bully smart-mouthed mice, and, most of all, there are cats--wily, treacherous, hungry cats. But the cat who plans on eating Grandmother as an appetizer and Ruby as the main course grossly underestimates the street smarts of his intended prey. Emberley brings this urbanized Red Riding Hood vividly to life, with multicolored, intensely detailed paintings capturing the clutter and constant motion of city life. And Ruby is a folk hero for the nineties--imagine her predecessor telling a bully to "buzz off, barf breath." ~--Bill Ott

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this takeoff on ``Little Red Riding Hood,'' Ruby the mouse reluctantly agrees to carry a bag of triple-cheese pies across town to her granny. She dons her red hooded coat and takes to the densely populated and litter-clogged city streets. Ruby ignores her mother's advice not to read as she walks, and soon bumps into ``a grimy-looking reptile whose hot breath smelled very much like dirty gym socks.'' Of sterner mettle than her fairy-tale predecessor, Ruby tells him, ``Buzz off, barf breath.'' This sets the tone for their less than refined exchange, which is interrupted by a nattily dressed, ``velvety-voiced'' cat who offers to escort Ruby to her grandmother's house. When she insists on continuing alone, the hungry cat hops into a taxi and races to granny's, hoping to make a meal of the two mice--as well as granny's neighbor. The villain's plan is foiled, of course, but by a subtly narrated stratagem that may elude preschoolers. Readers on the older end of the intended age spectrum will better appreciate Emberley's somewhat sophisticated humor, as well as the detailed pictures of the city residents--amusingly preoccupied animals projecting a wide variety of attitudes. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

If readers notice that Ruby (a mouse) is reading Little Red Riding Hood while sniffing her mother's freshly baked triple cheese pies, they will easily imagine the next sequence of events. Ruby is given some pies to deliver to her sick grandmother and to a neighbor, Mrs. Mastiff. She is warned not to talk to strangers and especially never to trust a cat. Of course, Ruby forgets this sound advice and gets smart-alecky with a slimy reptile who steals her goodie bag. She is rescued by a well-dressed, smooth-talking cat whose drool drips down his whiskers at the sight of Ruby. When Ruby tells the cat exactly where her grandma lives, readers will be aghast, yet Ruby has a plan. All ends well-- except for the cat. There has been an recent inundation of takeoffs on familiar traditional tales, but this Red Riding Hood variation has enough plot twists and innovation to keep readers involved and interested. The illustrations show congested city roads and bustling sidewalks teeming with animals from all walks of life. Ruby is an independent, outspoken, street-smart mouse whose language is surprising, but never in bad taste; she is simply confronting the hazards of city living. Readers will know that she'll survive it all and have her fun. --Martha Topol, Interlochen Public Library, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.