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Rapunzel Hardcover – October 16, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 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
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From Booklist

This oft-sanitized Brothers Grimm tale is given a faithful—if indeed grim—retelling in the latest of Isadora’s African-set fairy-tale adaptations, seen most recently with The Fisherman and His Wife (2008). The story races along with every scandalous plot point intact: Trapped by an evil sorceress, Rapunzel uses her long hair to allow a prince entrance into her cloistered tower. When her ensuing pregnancy tips off the sorceress, the vengeful captor tosses the prince into thorn bushes that blind him. As with Isadora’s previous retellings, the text is scant and the abrupt happy ending doesn’t really satisfy—but her wild, colorful Africa makes up for it. Sprawled across double-page spreads, the collage assembly will take repeat examinations to fully appreciate; thick brushstrokes render skin as textured and rich as wood grain, and the landscapes are chaotic patchworks cut from swaths of burnt orange, deep brown, and the sorceress’ stormy purple. Young listeners will also find plenty to scrutinize—it’s a dazzling garden of images, particularly given the paucity of the story’s seeds. Preschool-Grade 2. --Daniel Kraus
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Lexile Measure: 560 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (October 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399247726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399247729
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.3 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful version of Rapunzel, by an author/illustrator I really admire. Rachel Isadora has an Eric Carle kind-of feel in her illustrations, although she steps up with brillant patterns and styles that show you Africa. It's so amazingly beautiful. Every page deserves a long, long look.

My favorite page is Rapunzel facing the window inside her tower, and the face and hand of the Prince coming over the windowsill. The look in their eyes - how did Rachel Isadora capture that expression? I can't believe how amazing it is. Then, the very next page is a silhouette of the two of them holding hands with the night sky out the window, and Rapunzel's hair goes flowing across the entire second page. Oh, it is unbelievable.

Now then, you should know that Rapunzel and her Prince "exchange vows" in her tower room, and then he proceeds to ... ahem... "visit" her every night. Get it? The Sorceress finds out about the Prince when Rapunzel's dress gets a little too tight because she is pregnant.

Now, personally, you might choose to read that part of the story as "Oh, Sorceress, how come when you climb up, you feel so HEAVY, but when my Prince climbs up, he's not heavy at all?"
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read to children every week in a Brooklyn pediatric clinic as part of a program called Reach Out and Read, and I'm always on the prowl for books that might appeal to urban kids of color. I first found Rachel Isadora's work in the book The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which I bought at a yard sale in the neighborhood. The kids, especially the girls, loved it for its great art, its fairy-tale base, and its eye-opening African setting and characters ("They have princesses in Africa?" one little girl asked me). I ordered Rapunzel later, and was happy to discover that it was a little older, a little more complex--but still set forth the concept, with great conviction and amazing illustrations, that beauty does not have to involve blond hair and blue eyes. My five- and six-year-olds love Rapunzel; they love the drama and sadness before the happy ending, and they love studying the pictures as art. Thank you, Rachel Isadora--you make my "gig" so much more fun.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been looking for books to represent the standard fairytale characters in different shades and while my daughters loves books we have of a blonde Rapunzel, she was interested in reading this one because the girl in it is 'brown' like her. The illustrations are so wonderful and striking but unfortunately, the evil sorceress is so frightening looking that my daughter (just turned 5) has nightmares whenever we read it. Tonight we read it and covered up the evil witch on the pages she appeared but my daughter still cried when she went to bed. Super book, just wish the evil didn't have to look so incredibly scary in this particular book! We'll try again when she is older.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
as is the case for the other books in this series, the illustrations are lovely, but the story is too rushed, though. it would have been nice to flesh out the part where rapunzel meets the prince. it seemed a little strange that they met once, got "married" and had several night visits all in one page. but what ever, the illustrations are eye catching for my almost two yr old daughter, and again, i love the african setting that sets this book apart from other adaptations.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It Was wonderful to be able to introduced young girls of color to a Classic tale where their image was represented . I purchased this
book twice one for my great-granddaughter who is very much into the classic Princess tales and another for my great-niece. Both loved the book . As a retire educator books are my favorite gift for children, especially in this media driven society.
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Format: Hardcover
I love all the books where Ms. Isadora has set the fairy tales in Africa. What an interesting idea, and why not? The pictures done in collage style are beautiful. I will purchase all the fairy tale books Isadora has done.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The kids love hearing the story, and I love showing them diverse interpretations of fairy tales with people that look like them
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The illustrations are great. Really well written and great for a study on fractured fairy tales.
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