This adaptation of “Rapunzel” casts the heroine as a flute player and makes the witch an inadvertent do-gooder while weaving in melodies from 10 classical music pieces in this book version of a successful 2010 audio CD of the same title.
The music is well-chosen and -played on the accompanying CD, likely to offer an appealing introduction to classical themes, and it is really the book’s raison d’être. The text is set with various typefaces and spacing (helpful for reading aloud) on cheery illustrations, apparently crayon and watercolors. A cartoonish storyteller character appears on many of the pages, and the exaggerated voices of the storyteller on the audio are similarly comedic. There’s an edge of mockery in the storytelling and the pictures that may be more appropriate for adults who share the story with children than the target audience itself. When Green Golly (the Rapunzel character) tells the bee that the music she has played for it was composed by Rimsky Korsakov, “the big fuzzball” replies, “Of course-a-kov.” A therapeutic talking mouse is a surprise addition. After the completion of the story with its appropriate musical interludes, guitar and flute play full pieces on the CD. Story and music are also available through QR codes in the book, which require downloading an app that requires registration.
More a vehicle for the music than a story that stands alone. (Fractured fairy tale. 4-10)