Title: Rapunzel Author: Paul O. Zelinsky Illustrator: Paul O. Zelinsky Publisher: New York; Dutton Children’s Books
Genre: Caldecott Level: Beginner Number of pages: 32 Pub. Date: 1997
The classic story retold. Rapunzel is the daughter of to peasants. After her birth, a witch takes Rapunzel and when Rapunzel turned twelve she is locked in a tower. Rapunzel grows out her hair during her time in the tower and it becomes a rope by which people can enter the tower. One day a price sees her and figures out how this trick. The two fall in love and soon Rapunzel is with child. When the witch finds out she is furious and cuts off Rapunzel’s hair and sends her out into the world. Then she tricks the prince and pushes him of the top of the tower. When he lands he goes blind and wanders the forest for a year. There he finds Rapunzel and the two live happily ever after with their children.
The pictures in this story are done in an Italian Renaissance style. Zelinsky worked to make the pictures in this story reflect the story’s time period. The pictures are the main attraction of this story with them extending over two pages in some cases. The type is small and sits to the side of the pictures. The pictures are always square in shape although they have no borders, through out the story there are small flowers on top of the words making the picture book seem more like a chapter book. This would be a good way to teach children about where to stop in a story.
The story of Rapunzel is a famous one in today’s society. However, there are some parts of this story that are different from the versions I heard as a child. I believe the biggest difference is because in all of the previous versions I had heard of this story, the prince never lost his vision. This was a nice twist for me and made this book a little less predictable for me. Also I had not heard the story of Rapunzel since seeing Disney’s Tangled. The difference between these two plots is huge and makes you wonder if Disney even read the story of Rapunzel before writing the movie. I think I like the book better.
After: The students will compare this story to its retelling by different authors, including Disney and the Grimm Brothers.