Reviews for Rapunzel

Booklist Reviews 2008 November #1
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. Copyright Booklist Reviews 2008.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
In her fourth African recasting of European folktales, Isadora shows a Rapunzel blessed with abundant dreadlocks that reach to the savanna where her lonely tower is placed. As before, the retelling is spare and the collage paintings lush. Although a few spreads are unfocused, most make effective dramatic use of the page. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2008 September #1
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) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 October

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

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