From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4-This humorous twist on a traditional tale will resonate with today's young readers. Told in rhyming couplets, this version features a protagonist who weeps, not from loneliness, but rather over the sorry state of her flowing blond locks. The prince, mistaking her tears for legitimate suffering, is determined to set her free and invites her to throw down her hair. Rapunzel, however, mishears his request and throws down her underwear instead. The persistent noble tries a variety of other tactics, asking for her locks, tresses, rope, twine, and ladder, each time growing less enamored as she responds with socks, dresses, a cantaloupe, a swine, and a bowl of pancake batter. Finally, he begs her to let down her braid, but instead out drops her maid, a fortuitous mistake since the servant and the prince fall madly in love and ride off together. The verses are clever and concise, and the rhyming pattern allows listeners to anticipate their endings and to giggle over the results. The rhythm is consistent and the stresses in each line flow naturally, inspiring would-be poets. Monks's delightful acrylic-and-collage illustrations add to the humor. Their bright, vivacious colors, bold patterns, fun background details (e.g., skyscrapers, airplanes, and a computer in Rapunzel's tower), and exaggerated facial expressions reinforce the silliness. Pair this with David Wiesner's The Three Pigs (Clarion, 2001) and Diane Stanley's Goldie and the Three Bears (HarperCollins, 2003) for a fresh look at classic fairy tales.
Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PreS-Gr. 2. This fractured fairy tale twists Rapunzel to a fare-thee-well. Using a sprightly rhyme, Wilcox tells of a prince who spies the long-haired Rapunzel and immediately calls to her to throw down her hair. Alas, she's too far away to hear him clearly, and throws down her underwear instead. Every attempt to clarify the situation makes things worse: "'No Rapunzel, your curly locks.'" / Rapunzel threw down dirty socks." And so it goes until the prince asks Rapunzel to throw down her braid, and instead she manages to pitch down her maid--with whom the prince is quite taken. Then it's happily ever after, etc. Acrylic paint, colored pencil, and collage mix together in slapstick pictures that match the text in cheeky appeal. Of course, the story is funnier if children know the original tale, but even if they don't, this version takes on a bouncy life of its own. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved