Reviews for Rapunzel : Based on the Original Story by the Brothers Grimm

Booklist Reviews 2011 May #1
As pretty and pink as a young "princess book" fan could hope, this large, picture-book version of Rapunzel leaves out the darker aspects of the original tale. That's understandable, given the intended young audience, but this version even softens the exiles that Rapunzel and the prince endure by having kindly forest animals care for them and lead them to one another. Despite this tilt toward sentimentality, the power of the old story endures, and few modern versions are as eye-catching as this one. Combining drawn, painted, tinted, and textured elements that include fabric and paper, the large digital collages create an overall effect that is surprisingly light and decorative. Interspersed with these pictures, and created in a related but more powerful style, Gibb's fine silhouette illustrations create detailed, graceful, and often dramatic scenes reminiscent of images by Arthur Rackham and Jan Pienkowski. With its strong visual appeal, this picture book is sure to find its audience. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
In this version based on the Grimms' tale, Rapunzel's animal friends aid her in exile and she cures the blinded prince with her magical tears. With their enchanting details, Gibb's illustrations invite careful exploration. The juxtaposition of floral pinks and pastels with haunting silhouettes creates a mysterious tonality befitting a Grimms' fairy tale. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 April #2

This gorgeous offering is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm story with intricate illustrations taking center stage.

Reminiscent of elaborate embroidery or tapestries, the pictures create and sustain the tale's magical atmosphere. Particularly arresting are the nighttime scenes, the first of which shows the husband sneaking into the witch's enchanted garden in search of the plants that will cure his ailing wife; it is rendered in hues of purple and blue, with black silhouettes popping out in stark contrast. The size and layout, as well as the color, of the illustrations vary according to the action and mood of the story. For instance, one remarkable page is divided horizontally into four panels; the stunning series of images in silhouette on pastel backgrounds depicts the action described in prose on the facing page in the manner of a graphic novel. A few pages later, an entire two-page spread is devoted to an illustration of the prince riding through the forest with Rapunzel's tower in the background. In this instance, natural colors dominate, forming a lush background for the prince and his horse, which are rendered in exquisite detail.

Children and adults alike will be spellbound, poring over the pages again and again, delighting each time in new details and discoveries. (Fairy tale. 6-11)

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 March #1

This retelling of the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale hews closely to the original-- including the scary part about the prince being blinded in his fall from the tower and the couple's tearful reunion: "Rapunzel was horrified to see how badly hurt he was and she wept to see his poor eyes." British illustrator Gibb's retro-style artwork observes sentimental convention, too. Romantics will thrill to the flowers woven through Rapunzel's blond tresses, the delicate greenery hanging from her aerie, and the intricate, silhouetted details of the fixtures in cutaway views of various dwellings. Rapunzel (whose dimensions are those of a fashion model) wanders through the forest like Disney's Snow White, dressed in gauzy pink garments and surrounded by deer, birds, and rabbits. The story does make a shift in emphasis that young readers will appreciate, pointing up the help given to the runaway couple by the forest animals, weaving them into Rapunzel's happily-ever- after with the prince: "very now and then they would slip away... to spend a sunny afternoon with the forest creatures--friends they would never forget." An unapologetically frilly diversion. All ages. (May)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 April

K-Gr 3--The appeal of Gibb's version of the classic tale, in a post-Tangled movie world, is in its whimsical collage illustrations. Much of the action is in black silhouette with dramatic accent hues and only a few scenes in brilliant full color. The pages are full of elaborately detailed illustrations, pink flowers in Rapunzel's long blond tresses, the prince's laced tunic, and the small animals creeping along the pages. The story is fairly simple and sticks to the story except in this case, Rapunzel's mother eats "salad" throughout her pregnancy. Children will enjoy looking at the intricate details as they listen to this time-worn classic.--Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, Kearns Library, UT

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