In this retelling from the original German story, rather than from the Brothers Grimm, "the happy ending is even harder won, and the obstacles to true love far harsher," said PW. "Strong meat." Ages 4-7. (Apr.)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Beautifully-illustrated tales are the most likely books to be opened again and again and remembered from generation to generation. The rich colors of the illustrations depict the goodness of the golden-haired Rapunzel and the prince who rescues her, and the dark quality of the evil witch who imprisons her.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Set on the edge of the enchanting Black Forest, this is a passionate retelling of the Grimms Brothers fairy tale. It's the whole story, this time, and it's first-class, too, with love, revenge, trepidation and a miracle ending. Deep resonating colors give the paintings of the garden and the tower room real depth and texture. The story is spun with expressive language, inviting children to conjure images even beyond the pictures.
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
Gr 1-3-Berenzy retells the traditional German tale in which a woman must give up her baby daughter in exchange for the rapunzel greens she desires so much. In this version, Mother Gothel is a fairy instead of a witch, but she is nonetheless quite malevolent looking. After the prince discovers the princess and the way into the tower, they meet every evening until they are caught. Rapunzel is banished to a barren land, and in despair, the prince jumps from the tower, blinding himself on thorns. He wanders for years until one day, he hears Rapunzel's singing. Her tears heal his eyes, and they, along with their twins born while Rapunzel was in exile, return to the prince's kingdom. Children might ask where the twins came from and why a fairy who is pictured with wings in one scene needs to climb up Rapunzel's hair. The illustrations are rendered in colored pencil and gouache on black paper, a technique that results in lots of texture and an overall dark mood. The style, colors, and detail are similar to Paul O. Zelinsky's work, though not as crisp. The success of the illustrations is mixed; some seem to lack energy or emotion, while others are too sweet. The depictions of the evil fairy are wonderfully detailed, and Berenzy effectively creates light and shadows. The text is faithful to the Grimm brothers, though Berenzy claims a source predating them, but it lacks some of the magic of Barbara Rogasky's retelling (Holiday, 1982). Trina Schart Hyman's illustrations for that edition are more intricate and mature.-Cheri Estes, Detroit Country Day School Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI