Author: Zelinsky, Paul O.
A retelling of the German folktale in which a beautiful girl with long golden hair is kept imprisoned in a lonely tower by a sorceress.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: .5 Quiz: 29284
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.80
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 09563
Caldecott Medal, 1998
Common Core Standards
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → Read Alouds
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → Caldecott Medal
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Craft & Structure
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 2 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 3 → Reading → RF Foundational Skills → 3.RF Fluency
Kirkus Reviews (10/01/97)
School Library Journal (+) (11/97)
Booklist (+) (11/15/97)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (01/98)
The Hornbook (+) (01/98)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 11/01/1997 K-Gr 3--In a lengthy note, Zelinsky explains his research into the pre-Grimm Brothers' origins of Rapunzel in French and Italian tales, but his retelling does not vary significantly from other picture-book renditions. However, his version does not sidestep the love between the maiden in the tower and the prince, as some retellers have done. The lovers hold a ceremony of marriage between themselves, and it is Rapunzel's signs of pregnancy that bring about her banishment from the tower and her prince's downfall. What sets this Rapunzel apart from the others is the magnificence of the Renaissance setting. Readers will linger over the opulence and rich details of furnishings and fabrics, and admire the decorative patterns and architectural details of the tower and the rooms. Echoes of high Renaissance art can be seen in the costumes, the buildings, and the landscapes. In their postures and gestures, the richly dressed characters might have stepped out of the paintings of Botticelli and Mantegna and Verrocchio and Raphael. But in Zelinsky's scenes there are no angels, no holy figures, no miracles--only magic. The impossibly high, almost pencil-thin tower looms above the trees. Rapunzel's hair, cascading some 50 feet to the ground, would daunt the sturdiest climbers unless they were a sorceress or a young man in love. Each scene, from the delightful Italianate farm pictured on the endpapers to the last happy scene where the prince and his bride pose with their cherub-like twins, is painted, writes Zelinsky, as a humble attempt to spur an interest in the magnificent art from which I have drawn. A stunning effort.--Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ - Copyright 1997 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/15/1997 *Starred Review* for reading aloud. After his wildly exuberant illustrations for Anne Isaacs' tall tale Swamp Angel (1994), Zelinsky turns to the formal beauty of Italian Renaissance art as the setting for his glowingly illustrated version of an age-old story. And, like Donna Jo Napoli's YA novel Zel (1996), this story is as much about the fierce love of mother for child as it is about the romantic passion between the imprisoned Rapunzel and the prince. Drawing on the Grimms' and earlier versions of the tale, Zelinsky begins with a childless couple, who are thrilled when the wife finally becomes pregnant. She develops a craving for the herb rapunzel, and when her husband is caught stealing it for her, the sorceress makes a terrifying bargain: if she can have the baby, she will allow the wife to live. The stepmother raises Rapunzel, seeing to her every need, then locks her in a tower away from the world. Only the sorceress can enter the tower, by climbing Rapunzel's flowing hair. Then one day, the prince hears Rapunzel sing, falls in love with her, and learns to climb into the castle. They marry secretly. When Rapunzel becomes pregnant, the furious sorceress drives Rapunzel out, cuts off her hair, and blinds the prince. The lovers wander separately in the wilderness, where Rapunzel gives birth to twins; then the couple find each other, her tears make him see, and they come home to the prince's court. The rich oil paintings evoke the portraits, sculpture, architecture, and light-filled landscapes of Renaissance art. The costumes are lavish, the interiors intricate. Rapunzel is both gorgeous and maidenly. The sorceress is terrifying: the pictures also reveal her motherliness and her vulnerability, especially in the two double-page narrative paintings that frame the drama. One shows the sorceress taking the baby--and we see how she lovingly cradles it in her arms; in the climactic painting, when Rapunzel, the prince, and their children find each other, the whole natural world of rock and sky and tree seem to close around them in a loving embrace. Children--and adults--will pore over the intricate detail and glowing colors; they will also be moved by the mysterious tale of nurture and passion and terror. (Reviewed November 15, 1997) - Copyright 1997 Booklist.