Into the Woods

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Overview

The Tony Award-winning musical,

now adapted into a lavishly illustrated book

Into the Woods is the imaginative account of what happens when the lives of new and old fairy-tale characters dramatically and humorously come together. Cinderella, Jack (of bean-stalk fame), Little Red Ridinghood, and the Baker and his Wife set out for the forest on a quest to find "happily ever after." Along the way they meet Rapunzel, a Wicked Witch, a lascivious ...

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Overview

The Tony Award-winning musical,

now adapted into a lavishly illustrated book

Into the Woods is the imaginative account of what happens when the lives of new and old fairy-tale characters dramatically and humorously come together. Cinderella, Jack (of bean-stalk fame), Little Red Ridinghood, and the Baker and his Wife set out for the forest on a quest to find "happily ever after." Along the way they meet Rapunzel, a Wicked Witch, a lascivious Wolf, vengeful Giants, a couple of charming Princes, and their own destiny. With wit and wisdom, the authors have given us a parable about the loss of innocence, the joys and sorrows of adulthood, and the price paid for getting the things you really want.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This picture book-adaptation of the Broadway musical brings together many favorite characters in one tale, including the childless baker and his wife, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack with his beanstalk. Talbott's adaptation retains the flavor of Sondheim's lyrics, and those who know the score will find themselves singing along. All ages. (Mar.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517570777
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/5/1988
  • Pages: 91

Meet the Author

Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim's musical compositions and lyrics have earned him a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award, and numerous Tonys among other awards and honors. His credits include music and lyrics for Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd, Company, Follies, and A Little Night Music, as well as the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy.

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Read an Excerpt

From: Part I

Once Upon A Time,

in a far-off kingdom, there lived...

a fair young maiden, a sad young lad, and a childless baker with his wife.

The maiden, called Cinderella, wished more than anything, more than life, to go to the King's festival.

The lad, named Jack, also had a wish. He wished., more than anything, more than fife, more than riches, that his cow would give him some milk.

The Baker and the Baker's Wife were wishing, too. They wished more than anything, more than life, more than riches, more than the moon, that they had a child.

Cinderella's mother had died, and her father had taken for his new wife a woman with two daughters of her own. All three were beautiful of face but vile and black of heart. And, jealous of Cinderella's good qualities, they cruelly thrust upon her the dirtiest tasks around the house.

"You wish to go to the festival?" the Stepmother asked mockingly.

"Look at your nails!" chuckled Lucinda, one of Cinderella's stepsisters.

"Look at your dress!" giggled Florinda, the other.

"You wish to go to the festival and dance before the Prince?!" they all exclaimed, and fell down laughing out of control.

Jack, on the other hand, had no father. And his mother was concerned about her son and his devotion to his cow, Milky-White.

"You foolish child! What in Heaven's name are you doing with the cow inside the house?" she demanded.

"A warm environment might be just what Milky-White needs to produce his milk," replied Jack.

"It's a she! How many times must I tell you? Only shes can give milk! Besides, she's been dry for a week straight. We've no food or money and no choice but to sell her while she can still command a price.

"But Milky-White is my best friend in the whole world," Jack pleaded.

"Look at her! There are bugs on her dugs. There are flies in her eyes. There's a lump on her rump big enough to be a hump. Weve no time to sit and dither while her withers wither with her. And no one keeps a cow for a friend!"

Meanwhile, the Stepmother was playing a cruel joke on Cinderella. "I have emptied a pot of lentils into the ashes," she told the girl. "If you have picked them out again in two hours' time, you shall go to the festival with us."

But the Stepmother was unaware that Cinderella had friends in high places. No sooner had the cruel woman left than Cinderella sang out:

"Birds in the sky,

Birds in the eaves,

In the leaves,

In the fields,

In the castles and ponds.

Quick, little birds,

Flick through the ashes.

Pick and peck and sift,

But swiftly.

Put the lentils into my pot."

As she sang, flocks of birds fluttered down into the ashes and busily set to work sorting out the lentils and dropping them into the pot. The task completed, Cinderella thanked them, bade them farewell, and awaited the Stepmother's return.

Because the Baker had lost his mother and father in a baking accident — or so he believed — he was eager to have a family of his own and was concerned that all efforts had failed. The reason for this misfortune was explained to him that afternoon when the creepy old Witch from next door paid them a visit.

"What do you wish?" the Baker asked.

"It's not what I wish. It's what you wish," the hag cackled as she pointed to his wife's belly. "Nothing cooking in there now, is there?"

The ancient enchantress went on to tell the couple that she had placed a spell on their house. "In the past," she informed the Baker, "when you were no more than a baby, your father brought your mother and you to this cottage. She was with child, and she developed an unusual appetite. She took one look at my beautiful garden and told your father that what she wanted more than anything in the world was greens, greens, and nothing but greens! Parsley, peppers, cabbages and celery, asparagus and watercress and fiddleferns and lattice!

"He said, 'All right,' but it wasn't, quite, 'cause I caught him in the autumn in my garden one night! He was robbing me, raping me, rooting through my rutabaga, raiding my arugula, and ripping up the rampion. My champion! My favorite! I should have laid a spell on him right there. Could have turned him into stone or a dog or a chair..."

At which point, the Witch went into a trance, shuddering and gurgling with ghastly noises of joy. The Baker and the Wife could only stand by, trembling with fear, when without warning the Witch continued chattily.

"But I let him have the rampion — I'd lots to spare. In return, however, I said, 'Fair is fair: You can let me have the baby that your wife will bear. And we'll call it square.'"

"I had a brother?" asked the Baker.

"No...but you had a sister," the Witch hissed. However, she refused to tell him any more of his sister — not even that her name was Rapunzel.

"I thought I had been more than reasonable," the Witch continued petulantly, "and we all might have lived happily thereafter. But how was I to know what he'd also put in his pocket?! You see, when I had inherited that garden, my mother warned me that I would be punished if ever I were to lose any of the beans."

"Beans?" asked the couple.

"The special beans! I let him go, I didn't know he'd stolen my beans! I was watching him crawl back over the wall when bang! crash! and the lightning flash! and the — never mind, that's another story.

This book is adapted from the play Into the Woods copyright © 1987 by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, Inc.

Illustrations and adaptation copyright © 1988 by Hudson Talbott

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(10)

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2006

    simply amazing

    a retelling of the well known fairy tales of cinerella, rapunzel, snow white, jack and the beanstalk, etc., Into the Woods is a wonderful twist on the stories we all know and love. a play with a little bit for everyone

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2001

    BEST BOOK/BROADWAY PLAY IN THE WORLD!!!

    This was one awesome play and book. They did it in my school as the play and i saw it and it was awesome. If you are deciding on this book or another one buy this one. Even if you want to save ur money to solve world hunger you should scrap that plan and buy this book. Its worth the millions of lives you take away because of starvation. !!!LOL!!! Enjoy! i know i did

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2000

    A extrodinary Musical! Peters and Gleason are superb!

    A wonderful play that kept your eyes glued to the stage! It should have never left Broadway!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2000

    What a show!

    The only thing better than seeing this show, is being part of the production. I was only a freshman in high school, but it was a theatre experience to remember!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    I looooove "Into the Woods". We performed this my Sophomore year in high school and we won the "Most Outstanding Stage Crew" Metropolitan Theatre Award for it. I remember whisper-singing the songs backstage. Great musical and story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2009

    great book

    great book, thats all i have to say

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2008

    Love it!

    I played Cinderella in my senior year of high school in INTO THE WOODS. This book is another great way to experience the musical and the illustrations are great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2006

    Into the Woods: A review by Mua!

    I loved this book. This year our school did Into the Woods as the school musical. I was in it and played Little Red Ridinghood's Granny. And boy, was that a blast to be her. When I bought the book, and read over it while listening to the soundtrack, I thought everything in it was awesome and clever.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2004

    So Disappointing

    I can't believe how few songs are in this. It doesn't even have Red Ridinghood's or The Wolf's song. It is not worth the money or the time spent ordering it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2002

    Totally Good!

    You have to get this book. I was in the play at 9 years old, I was the bakers wife. I loved it then, and I still do now! You must get this book. It is outstaning!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2000

    Rapunzel,Cinderella & Jack and the Beanstalk

    This musical is a must-see for anyone who loves fairy tales. There has never been such an incredible combination of classic stories as well as good music. One of my goals is to play 'Jack' in this play. Oh, and the song,'The Last Midnight', great song!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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