Picks and Pans Review: Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks

updated 09/10/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/10/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Read by Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan? The real star of these video storybooks is adapter Tom Roberts. His witty, contemporary interpretations provide a wolf who is "tempted to wolf down" the heroine of the first tale before she gets to her grandmother's house, "But then he thought, 'Why settle for a single course?' " Roberts's take on Goldilocks, as a spoiled brat demanding another teddy bear, is also amusing.

"She's mean," concluded Kate.

"Well, she's not going to be anymore," predicted Nick.

"Remember? She takes the honey from the bears."

"No, porridge," corrected Kate. "But she'll learn a lesson about bears."

Unfortunately that lesson comes wrapped in the absurd accents attempted by Meg Ryan. (Meryl Streep she's not.) And for these kids, at least, Laszlo Kubinyi's romantic illustrations and Art Lande's effective music failed to compensate for the lack of animation. "I like it better when they say their own words," said Kate. "And when you see the wolf eat Red Riding Flood," said Nick. (SVS, Inc. Each 30-minute tape, $14.95)

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