Rapunzel

Overview

Caldecott Honor winner Rachel Isadora's gorgeous collages breathe new life into this classic tale, capturing Rapunzel's striking beauty and the lush African setting-a new home for this story-with wonderful details such as Rapunzel's long dreadlocks and the prince's noble steed-a zebra. Readers will delight in the vibrant illustrations, thrill at the appearances of the frightening sorceress, and chime in with the familiar line 'Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair,' as they ...

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Overview

Caldecott Honor winner Rachel Isadora's gorgeous collages breathe new life into this classic tale, capturing Rapunzel's striking beauty and the lush African setting-a new home for this story-with wonderful details such as Rapunzel's long dreadlocks and the prince's noble steed-a zebra. Readers will delight in the vibrant illustrations, thrill at the appearances of the frightening sorceress, and chime in with the familiar line 'Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair,' as they follow this well-loved tale.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In another of her series of retellings of traditional tales, Isadora moves her Rapunzel to an unspecified African location. The basic story, deftly retold, begins with the husband stealing rapunzel herbs from the garden of a sorceress to satisfy the longing of his ill and pregnant wife. The witch claims the promised baby, locking the now beautiful child in a tower when she reaches the age of twelve. As in the Grimm story, a prince learns the secret of climbing up her hair to Rapunzel in the tower. They fall in love and say marriage vows. When the witch finds out, she abandons Rapunzel in the wilderness, while the despairing prince has blinded himself leaping from the tower in grief. The couple finally reunites for the happy ending. Isadora combines preprinted papers with some of her own oil painted papers to create the vibrant African setting for this European tale. The cut paper shapes produce flat, stylized characters and fragments of landscapes with flowers, trees, and groups of clouds. Our negative emotions are stirred by the witch's ugly features and such scenes as the wilderness where the blind prince wanders in a dull brown landscape with bare black trees and watching vultures, but most scenes are bright with tropical colors and the complex masses of Rapunzel's hair. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3

Isadora sets the classic fairy tale in a sunny African setting. A child, taken from her parents by a sorceress, "grew into the most beautiful child under the sun." When she is 12, the evil woman locks her in a high tower, climbing up Rapunzel's beautiful, black, flower-strewn hair when she wants to ascend her prison. The story remains true to the original, including the ending in which the young woman and her twins are reunited with the prince, and she cures him of his blindness. Colorful, vibrant oil paints and collages brighten up the story. The artwork has rich brushstrokes and is heavily patterned, and details abound, including the green warts on the sorceress's face. Add this book to Isadora's fairy tales reimagined in Africa, such as The Princess and the Pea, The Twelve Dancing Princesses (both 2007), and The Fisherman and His Wife (2008, all Putnam).-Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, Kearns Library, UT

Kirkus Reviews
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your dreads! Isadora once again plies her hand using colorful, textured collages to depict her fourth fairy tale relocated to Africa. The narrative follows the basic story line: Taken by an evil sorceress at birth, Rapunzel is imprisoned in a tower; Rapunzel and the prince "get married" in the tower and she gets pregnant. The sorceress cuts off Rapunzel's hair and tricks the prince, who throws himself from the tower and is blinded by thorns. The terse ending states: "The prince led Rapunzel and their twins to his kingdom, where they were received with great joy and lived happily every after." Facial features, clothing, dreadlocks, vultures and the prince riding a zebra convey a generic African setting, but at times, the mixture of patterns and textures obfuscates the scenes. The textile and grain characteristic of the hewn art lacks the elegant romance of Zelinksy's Caldecott version. Not a first purchase, but useful in comparing renditions to incorporate a multicultural aspect. (Picture book/fairy tale. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399247729
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 10/16/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 266,824
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Rachel Isadora began dancing at the age of eight. She trained at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet and has danced professionally. Rachel lives in New York City with her family.

Rachel Isadora has illustrated many books set in the world of dance and theater, including Opening Night, My Ballet Class, Swan Lake, The Little Match Girl, and Ben's Trumpet, which received the Caldecott Honor Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

Rachel Isadora began dancing at the age of eight. She trained at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet and has danced professionally. Rachel lives in New York City with her family.

Rachel Isadora has illustrated many books set in the world of dance and theater, including Opening Night, My Ballet Class, Swan Lake, The Little Match Girl, and Ben's Trumpet, which received the Caldecott Honor Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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