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RAPUNZEL by John Cech


adapted by John Cech, illustrated by Fiona Sansom

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4027-6911-3
Publisher: Sterling

All the expected elements are in place in this familiar fairy tale. Mother craves fresh lettuce; father is caught stealing it from the witch’s garden. The witch extracts a terrible price, and the child Rapunzel is taken to a high tower, to which her hair becomes the only means of entry. A Prince finds her, but there are complications that are taken from some less-familiar versions of the tale. The Prince is blinded, Rapunzel is hidden away once more and there is much to endure before reaching a happy ending. Cech employs clear, descriptive language that is fresh and appealing to modern readers, at times seeming to speak directly to his audience. Varying in size from inserts to double-page spreads, with the text often placed in frames, Sansom’s lovely medieval paintings complement and enhance the text, depicting the action while concentrating on emotional content. The witch appears appropriately frightening, and Rapunzel and the Prince express all their feelings in their facial expressions and body language. A splendid candidate for a crowd-pleasing read-aloud. (note on story variations) (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-10)