In older versions of the classic tale Rapunzel, it always seemed improbable that a grown man could scale a tower using only his beloved's hair. Not so in Paul O. Zelinsky's Caldecott Medal-winning version of Rapunzel. Here, Rapunzel's reddish-blonde mane is thick with waves and braids, and cascades like a waterfall down the walls of her isolation tower. In Zelinsky's able hands it's easy to believe that a prince would harbor no hesitations about scrambling up our fair heroine's hair.
Of course, this is not the work of an amateur--Zelinsky's lush versions of Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, and Swamp Angel all earned him Caldecott Honors. His gorgeous, Italian Renaissance-styled illustrations are characterized by warm golden tones and the mesmerizing sensation of trompe l'oeuil. Not only does he have the touch of a world-class illustrator, Zelinsky has also proven himself a master storyteller. We are frightened when the sorceress demands to take the baby Rapunzel, we are alarmed when the flowing locks are cruelly shorn, and we rejoice when the prince and his now modest-haired love are reunited. The notes at the back of Rapunzel reveal his careful scholarship regarding the long history of the story (tracing its origins and transformations from Italy to France and finally to Germany and the Grimm brothers)--work that no doubt contributed to his clean, compelling version of the age-old tale. Children will be captivated by the magical story and evocative pictures and adults will delight in the fresh feel of a well-loved legend. (Click to see a sample spread. Illustration © 1997 by Paul O. Zelinsky, published by Dutton Children's Books, a division of Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers.) (Ages 4 and older)
In our Best Book citation, PW said, "A breathtaking interpretation gives the fairy tale new art-historical roots, with illustrations that daringly-and effectively-mimic the masters of Italian Renaissance painting." Ages 5-up. (Oct.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Nice looking book, nice illustrations. However as I was reading it to a 4 year old, the story took a unique, more adult message I was unprepared for, and sensored it as I read it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by See Sea
Purchased this as a Christmas gift. The illustrations and presentation are beautiful although the reading level is high for the "fairy tale" age bracket.Published 17 months ago by Marian L. Schmid
Rapunzel was listed as a recommended book for first and second grade students. Rapunzel was listed on the summer recommended reading list. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Wade Dion Lund
I bought this for Christmas for my 4yo and she absolutely loves this book. This is an often-requested book in our house and I don't mind reading it over and over. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Sarah Seifert
Lovely illustrations and telling of a Classic children's story. My grandchildren love to read and reread this book.and I enjoy reading it to them.Published 20 months ago by Kenneth Faucett