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Rapunzel

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Overview

Trapped in a tower with no door, Rapunzel is allowed to see no one but the sorceress who has imprisoned her-until the day a young prince hears her singing to the forest birds. . . . The timeless tale of Rapunzel is vividly and magnificently brought to life through Paul O. Zelinsky's powerful sense of narrative and his stunning oil paintings.

"Simply put, this is a gorgeous book; it demonstrates respect for the traditions of painting and the fairy tale while at the same time ...

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Rapunzel

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Overview

Trapped in a tower with no door, Rapunzel is allowed to see no one but the sorceress who has imprisoned her-until the day a young prince hears her singing to the forest birds. . . . The timeless tale of Rapunzel is vividly and magnificently brought to life through Paul O. Zelinsky's powerful sense of narrative and his stunning oil paintings.

"Simply put, this is a gorgeous book; it demonstrates respect for the traditions of painting and the fairy tale while at the same time adhering to a singular, wholly original, artistic vision." (The Horn Book, starred review)

A retelling of a folktale in which a beautiful girl with long golden hair is kept imprisoned in a lonely tower by a sorceress. Includes a note on the origins of the story.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As with her artwork for The Emperor's New Clothes, Duntze's fanciful illustrations add enchanting new dimensions to this well-loved tale. A wordless spread of the witch's glorious garden makes manifest the compulsion by her pregnant neighbor to secure its contents-though she will come to rue the price (her baby, Rapunzel). The witch, meanwhile, looks human from the waist up, with beefy bare arms and white hair pulled back in unusual buns, but her dress is fashioned from large cabbage leaves, home to slugs, snails and a frog, and partly concealing long, snake-like tentacles. Duntze plays with dimensions to create a sense of fairyland enchantment. Huge human teeth crown the walls around the witch's garden, while inside (obscured from the neighbors' view), dandelion weeds loom large. Layers of gold and rust-colored carpets give Rapunzel's lonely tower cell a cozy feel, as do the yellow pear on which she sits, the enormous snail that serves as her bed, and the stuffed animals that keep her company. The bleak wilderness into which the witch banishes Rapunzel (after learning of the prince's visits) markedly contrasts with the opulence of previous settings, emphasizing the witch's cruelty. In the final scene, the prince returns with Rapunzel and their children to his kingdom, which Duntze portrays as a formal garden set under towering strawberry plants, bringing the visual theme full circle. The arresting art abounds with sensuality and charm, making this version a welcome reimagining of a classic tale. Ages 4-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Zelinsky (Swamp Angel) does a star turn with this breathtaking interpretation of a favorite fairy tale. Daringlyand effectivelymimicking the masters of Italian Renaissance painting, he creates a primarily Tuscan setting. His Rapunzel, for example, seems a relative of Botticelli's immortal red-haired beauties, while her tower appears an only partially fantastic exaggeration of a Florentine bell tower. For the most part, his bold experiment brilliantly succeeds: the almost otherworldly golden light with which he bathes his paintings has the effect of consecrating them, elevating them to a grandeur befitting their adoptive art-historical roots. If at times his compositions and their references to specific works seem a bit self-conscious, these cavils are easily outweighed by his overall achievement. The text, like the art, has a rare complexity, treating Rapunzel's imprisonment as her sorceress-adopted mother's attempt to preserve her from the effects of an awakening sexuality. Again like the art, this strategy may resonate best with mature readers. Young children may be at a loss, for example, when faced with the typically well-wrought but elliptical passage in which the sorceress discovers Rapunzel's liaisons with the prince when the girl asks for help fastening her dress (as her true mother did at the story's start): " `It is growing so tight around my waist, it doesn't want to fit me anymore.' Instantly the sorceress understood what Rapunzel did not." On the other hand, with his sophisticated treatment, Zelinsky demonstrates a point established in his unusually complete source notes: that timeless tales like Rapunzel belong to adults as well as children. Ages 5-up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The cover of this book is so beautiful that you can almost feel the texture of Rapunzel's golden tresses as she gazes into the distance from her isolated tower. This variant on the story is immensely satisfying, and the lengthy author's note provides a provenance and rationale for Zelinsky's retelling. The magnificent oils transport readers to the Italian countryside. The fabrics, skin textures, hair, and the detailed interiors are exquisitely rendered. Zelinsky will certainly have his wish to inspire readers to seek out more Renaissance art fulfilled. Readers cannot help but want to see more art like that which he has created. Caldecott Medal winner.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Zelinsky is both the illustrator and reteller of this fairy tale, which was the recipient of the Caldecott Medal. His Renaissance portrayal of the story glows with a richness of detailing and lighting that show a close study of the old masters. His psychological perspectives are also fascinating. In this version, the witch is a sorceress who creates a tower "narrow on the outside, but on the inside it was large with many elegant rooms," a place to keep Rapunzel safe. But when a prince discovers her, the astonished Rapunzel "felt a happiness she had never known." They hold a marriage ceremony alone in the tower and soon thereafter, Rapunzel is surprised, as her dress grows tight around the waist. The distraught sorceress cries "I thought I had kept you safe, away from the whole world, but you have betrayed me!" She becomes a sympathetic character, transforming the tale into the archetypal struggle of a parent who can no longer prevent a child's unavoidable growing up. This book may wind up on banned book lists. Most of us will allow that there was a marriage of sorts, but I suspect it won't satisfy those of rigid morality. I applaud the selection committee, not only for choosing a book whose art shines in text, illustration, and thoughtfulness, but who considered art before public opinion.
Children's Literature - Judy Katsh
A rather ordinary retelling of the well-known tale of love hidden away, lost, and found gets luscious treatment from illustrator Maja Dusikova. Soft watercolor landscapes colored in sympathetic harmony with the action rescue this book from its plainness and make it enjoyable to snuggle up with. The only other things you'd need would be a comfy adult co-reader and the glow of a warm fire.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Humorous illustrations attempt to transform this rather serious fairy tale into a lighthearted romp that spares children its disturbing chill and darkness. Duntze's playful watercolors are filled with fantastical elements like oversize fruit, clothing made from cabbage leaves, and a bed atop a huge snail. The witch's countenance never gets scarier than that of a loving but stern grandparent. The illustrations also contain a mixture of details that span different time periods and cultures: for example, the husband wears golf shoes; the wife is seen leaning out the window, thus exposing her multiple petticoats; and the prince wears buckled shoes that evoke Puritan times. Multihued rugs and swirling curtains in the tower suggest the Middle East. The scene in which the prince finds Rapunzel and their children has subdued colors and an austerity that is almost biblical. Regrettably, there are no source or author notes. Stick with Paul O. Zelinsky's award-winning Rapunzel (Dutton, 1997), which uses dramatic images to express powerful emotions and depicts one specific era in rich detail.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-- More succinct and effective than Rowland's discursive Rapunzel (Calico Bks, 1989), Ehrlich's version preserves the essence of the tale (while omitting the illegitimate twins and a retributive fate for the witch). Events are somewhat telescoped (the father is caught on the second night, and Rapunzel agrees to marry the prince on his first visit), but what is lost in suspense is gained in pace. In Waldherr's clear, soft, colored-pencil drawings, blues and greens set off Rapunzel's red-gold tresses. The witch is such a slender and attractive senior that her traditionally evil behavior is rather a shock. The layout is notable: each vignette is edged by either a landscape or a floral design linked to the story. Unlike the dark and crowded borders in Rogasky's Rapunzel (Holiday, 1987), illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, Waldherr's light-filled frames alternately focus in and open out the narrative. Her romantic style is reminiscent of the Pre-Raphaelites--even, unfortunately, down to the occassional awkwardness in anatomy and pose. --Patricia Dooley, University of Washington, Seattle
Book Review Digest
European illustrator Dusikova interprets the familiar fairy tale with dreamy, dark watercolors. Observed by cats, butterflies, and birds, Rapunzel, the witch, and the king's son play out the story. Unfortunately, the second page of text, set against a charcoal background, is difficult to read. Predictably, the witch has a long nose, Rapunzel is demure and blond, and the prince is boyishly handsome. Dusikova's forte is her exquisite, misty landscape art. ...Bell's translation is for the most part, faithful to the traditional story. Only the twins have been removed, perhaps to suit the sensibilities of those opposed to unwed motherhood.
Kirkus Reviews
Exquisite paintings in late Italian Renaissance style illumine this hybrid version of a classic tale.

As Zelinsky (The Wheels on the Bus, 1990, etc.) explains in a long source note, the story's Italian oral progenitor went through a series of literary revisions and translations before the Brothers Grimm published their own take; he draws on many of these to create a formal, spare text that is more about the undercurrents between characters than crime and punishment. Feeling "her dress growing tight around her waist" a woman conceives the desire for an herb from the neighboring garden—rendered in fine detail with low clipped hedges, elaborate statuary and even a wandering pangolin—that causes her to lose her child to a witch. Ensconced for years in a tower, young Rapunzel meets the prince, "marries" him immediately, is cast into the wilderness when her own dress begins to tighten, gives birth to twins, and cures her husband's blindness with her tears at their long-awaited reunion. Suffused with golden light, Zelinsky's landscapes and indoor scenes are grandly evocative, composed and executed with superb technical and emotional command. (Picture book/folklore. 8-10) Exquisite paintings in late Italian Renaissance style illumine this hybrid version of a classic tale.

As Zelinsky (The Wheels on the Bus, 1990, etc.) explains in a long source note, the story's Italian oral progenitor went through a series of literary revisions and translations before the Brothers Grimm published their own take; he draws on many of these to create a formal, spare text that is more about the undercurrents between characters than crime and punishment. Feeling "her dress growing tight around her waist" a woman conceives the desire for an herb from the neighboring garden—rendered in fine detail with low clipped hedges, elaborate statuary and even a wandering pangolin—that causes her to lose her child to a witch. Ensconced for years in a tower, young Rapunzel meets the prince, "marries" him immediately, is cast into the wilderness when her own dress begins to tighten, gives birth to twins, and cures her husband's blindness with her tears at their long-awaited reunion. Suffused with golden light, Zelinsky's landscapes and indoor scenes are grandly evocative, composed and executed with superb technical and emotional command. (Picture book/fol

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142301937
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 140,013
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Meet the Author

After studying at Marburg, Jacob became a clerk in the War Office at Kassel, and in 1808 librarian to Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia. In 1841 he received Professorship at Berlin, and in 1854 began work on Deutsches Worterbuch with his brother.

Dorothee Duntze was born in Reims, France. She studied art at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Reims and the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Strasbourg. Among the other books she has illustrated for North-South are The Emperor's New Clothes, The Princess and the Pea, and Hansel and Gretel.

Anthea Bell (translator) is the recipient of the Schlegel Tieck Prize for translation from German, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, and the Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize in 2002 for the translation of W. G. Sebald's "Austerlitz", and the 2003 Austrian State Prize for Literary Translation. She lives in Cambridge, England.

Wilhelm Grimm and his brother Jacob are famous for their classical collection of folk songs and folktales, especially for Children's and Household Tales, generally known as Grimm's Fairy Tales.

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Table of Contents

Trapped in a tower with no door, Rapunzel is allowed to see no one but the sorceress who has imprisoned her-until the day a young prince hears her singing to the forest birds. . . . The timeless tale of Rapunzel is vividly and magnificently brought to life through Paul O. Zelinsky's powerful sense of narrative and his stunning oil paintings.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(19)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2003

    Good translation of the old tale

    I read this book for a class I took called 'Children's Books and Censorship' and I thought it was beautifully done! The pictures are in soft watercolors and provide good context with the story. I would recommend this book for children ages 5-8.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2011

    it`s a beauty

    That's what I was looking for! Amazing!

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 15, 2011

    Simalar to the other version I read.

    Rapunzel looks pretty with long hair.

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2011

    golden hair

    love the style of the app!)

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 24, 2011

    girlish

    it`s a NAUGHTY girlish app, my daughter is just fond of this hairy girl!

    6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 26, 2011

    r

    cool story and prof done and designed app

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 30, 2012

    Confused

    I purchased this based on the customer reviews--talking about the beautiful pictures and the good writing, etc. It only has FOUR (yes, 4) pages, no title page, and ZERO (yes, 0) pictures! BN has apparently put the wrong reviews with this book. Buy it if you only want the quick, short version.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 27, 2011

    golden

    it` a golden collection of my books.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 22, 2007

    Rapunzel

    Long ago, a man and a woman realized that they were going to have a baby. A sorcerer owned a beautiful garden outside the woman¿s window with rare fruits and herbs. She began to get such a craving for rapunzel that she thought she was going to die. Her husband did not want her to die so he snuck into the garden to get her rapunzel. The second time he was caught by the sorcerer and she was not happy. She said he could only have the rapunzel if she could have the child when it is born. He didn¿t want his wife to die so he said okay. When the child was born the sorcerer came to get her and named her Rapunzel. ¿The sorceress cared for the baby, seeing to her every need.¿ Rapunzel grew up to be a beautiful girl with ¿flowing red-gold hair.¿ At twelve years old the sorceress put her in a tower in the middle of the forest to live. The tower didn¿t have any doors or windows except one at the very top. The sorceress would come to the tower and say, ¿Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair¿ then climb up the tower. One day a prince went by the tower and heard Rapunzel singing. He wanted to see her but couldn¿t find a way in the tower. The prince kept returning and one day learned how to get in the tower. When the sorceress was gone he called to Rapunzel, ¿Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair¿ and climbed up the tower. He immediately fell in love and wanted to marry her. So they did. When the sorceress found out that Rapunzel¿s dress was tight on her waist, she knew she had been seeing someone. The sorceress cut Rapunzel¿s hair and sent her away to a ¿wild country¿ to live alone. Not long after Rapunzel gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. Will Rapunzel¿s prince ever find her? How will she ever raise the two children alone? Read to find out what happens to Rapunzel and her children. Paul O. Zelinsky retells this Grimm tale very well. His pictures are wonderful and give a great visual as to what is going on in the story. He has won a Caldecott medal for this book, Rapunzel, and Caldecott Honor Medals for Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, and Swamp Angel. He has not only illustrated for his own writings, but also Beverly Cleary, Carl Sandburg, and is the creator of the beloved Wheels on the Bus. Zelinsky, Paul. Rapunzel. New York: Dutton, 1998.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2013

    Hi love it here!

    Amasing brovo awesome

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 30, 2012

    Confused

    My review of the book by Jacob Grimm was posted to this book--being only four pages and no pictures. BN needs to get their "reviews" reviewed!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    Love it

    Love it always read it during my free time at school : )

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 8, 2009

    I Love It!!!

    When I was in Hawaii, at the library, this book was there. I was curious about it, so I read it. It turned out to be a great read! I loved it, but after I came back to the states, I could never find it here, at any library, or any bookstore, ect... But I saw it on here, and HAD TO HAVE IT!!! IT IS AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    To:"Confused"

    The original story was two pages long so this would be the longer version

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    It's good,a breth taking beautiful twist retelling the real story.

    It seems all the rate reviews i'v read are saying they love the book,and i love it to.So i guess i will put it in my top ten books list.I would recomend for girls ages 8-12 would like it.It is just beautiful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Books rule

    Amazing loved it!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2012

    Took me away

    I felt like i was there! GREAT twist! Loved it, and you should buy it;)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

    Tgere are no illistrations!

    H

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    Too morbid for 3-5 year olds

    Not made for small children

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 24, 2012

    Loooooooooooove it

    Great book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews

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