Rapunzel: A Groovy Fairy Tale

Rapunzel: A Groovy Fairy Tale

by Lynn Roberts, David Roberts, David Roberts

Rapunzel visits the trendy '70s in this far-out retelling
Rapunzel, like everyone else in the 1970s, has long hair. But only Rapunzel, from atop a penthouse in which she is imprisoned by her evil Aunt Esme, has hair so long that it sweeps the sidewalk in front of the building. The elevators don't work, so Aunt Esme uses Rapunzel's hair to come…  See more details below


Rapunzel visits the trendy '70s in this far-out retelling
Rapunzel, like everyone else in the 1970s, has long hair. But only Rapunzel, from atop a penthouse in which she is imprisoned by her evil Aunt Esme, has hair so long that it sweeps the sidewalk in front of the building. The elevators don't work, so Aunt Esme uses Rapunzel's hair to come and go. And poor Rapunzel spends day after lonely day surrounded by orange-and-brown-patterned walls and shag carpeting, listening to her beloved LPs. Then, at last, a handsome stranger climbs up Rapunzel's hair...why, he's the glam-rock prince of her dreams! David Roberts's funky 1970s illustrations give this Rapunzel an exciting new twist. Bellbottoms, disco balls, and long sideburns make this the funkiest fairy tale ever!

Author Bio: Lynn Roberts previously collaborated with her brother David as the author of Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story, a Child Magazine Best Book of 2001. She lives in London. David Roberts has illustrated ten books, including Dirty Bertie and Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story. Publishers Weekly praised Cinderella, saying, �With this volume's attention to accessories and interior decoration, the familiar story and the Prohibition era make a perfect fit.� David Roberts lives in London.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Late 1970s and early 1980s fashion rules the day in this way-out fairy tale." Rapunzel, a stone fox decked out in a red-and-yellow-striped turtleneck, patchwork leather skirt and leg warmers, lives in a decrepit concrete high-rise with her Aunt Esme, a grody cafeteria lunch lady who bears a passing resemblance to Pink Flamingos' Divine. Esme forces Rapunzel to stay in the apartment, and rappels up and down the girl's long red braid of hair. One day, a slack-haired guitar player named Roger witnesses this strange ritual, "and trying his best to imitate Esme's booming voice, he called, `Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!' " and ascends to the balcony. Subsequent illustrations show him giving her a tambourine and strumming a guitar in her room, which is littered with Blondie and Joni Mitchell LPs and ABBA and Elton John posters. In one of the book's best retro moments, the couple hatches an escape plan. "I have a great idea!" says Rapunzel. "Why don't we make a rope ladder from all the scarves and belts I have?" The siblings behind Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story pull out the visual stops in this retelling, which at its heart is true to the classic version. If young readers fail to grasp musical allusions to Aladdin Sane and The Who's Tommy, the stack-heeled shoes, ugly sweaters and banana-seat bike will be familiar enough thanks to the nostalgia mill. There's something here to amuse all ages; grown readers will laugh longest. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This Rapunzel lives with her Aunt Esme, who has locked her atop a tall old deserted apartment building. Since the elevator is broken, Esme uses Rapunzel's unusually long red hair in a braid to climb up and down. Aunt Esme is "the most fearsome lunch lady" at the local school cafeteria. She has also tamed her hideous pet crow Roach to steal from the children. A young boy named Roger, a singer in the school band, sees Esme call down Rapunzel's hair, and uses it to meet her. The tragedy, when Esme discovers their meetings, exiles Rapunzel to wander the city streets, and causes Roger's amnesia, however, it turns to joy when the two youngsters find each other again. As the artist states in his note, he has set the visual narrative in the British 1970s as he remembers them. The stylized pen-and-ink drawings with watercolors are loaded with details from the period, which adds appeal to the variation on the well-known story. Aunt Esme, wickedly intimidating, rides a motorcycle with an "EVIL" license plate, and obviously deserves her unhappy end as much as the young friends deserve their happiness. Rapunzel even uses her hair to make wigs. 2003, Harry N. Abrams,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-A (relatively) modern take on the folktale. Rapunzel's awful Aunt Esme keeps her locked on the top floor of an abandoned apartment building. The elevator is broken, so when the woman returns from a hard day working at the local school as the world's meanest lunch lady, she hauls herself upstairs via Rapunzel's long, red braid. Roger, the intrepid singer in the school band, discovers Esme's secret and begins visiting the girl regularly, bringing glimpses of the outside world. When Esme discovers the friends' secret, she cuts Rapunzel's braid and turns her out on the street, setting unsuspecting Roger up for an amnesia-inducing fall. The two are, of course, reunited by tale's end, and Rapunzel begins a new career as a wig maker. The book's "groovy" title indicates its late-'70s setting, but the text is free of gratuitous (and to young children, incomprehensible) slang. The reteller relates her plot in simple language, trusting the illustrator to create the `70s feel with his pen-and-ink-embellished watercolor paintings. Adults who remember the period will be amused by the lava lamp, John Travolta poster, and pogo stick; children will likely focus on the cartoonish expressions of wide-eyed Rapunzel and devilish Aunt Esme. Although the quality of writing and illustration ranks this book above sheer novelty purchase, it is unlikely to stand the test of time as well as an ABBA tune.-Eve Ortega, Cypress Library, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Having found an audience-an adult one, at least-for Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story (2001), the Roberts sibs put a differently styled, but equally stylish twist on another folktale romance. Every day while her evil Aunt Esme is off being the Lunch Lady from hell, young Rapunzel stays locked in a top-floor apartment, listening to Bowie and Blondie LPs by a lava lamp's light. Until, that is, Roger, lead guitarist in a high-school band, spots Aunt Esme leaving for work down Rapunzel's long red braid. The illustrator outfits the young folk in bell bottoms and platform shoes, filling out the backdrops with period posters and other details. The author follows the original plotline, at least in general, but eases up on the end, so that Roger just suffers temporary amnesia rather than being blinded by his long fall, and after the lovers are reunited at a rock concert, Rapunzel becomes an accomplished designer of (red) wigs. Those under 30 may miss many of the cultural references, but even in this fractured form it's good to see the classic tale stayin' alive, stayin' alive. (illustrator's note) (Picture book/folktale. 8-10, adult)

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Product Details

Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.75(w) x 10.75(h) x 0.32(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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