Friday, July 8, 2011


Caldecott Medal Book

Zelinsky, P. (Retold). (1997). Rapunzel. New York, NY:  Puffin Books.

The story opens with the traditional, "Long ago, there lived a man and a woman..." (p. 1).  From there we find that they are now expecting their first child, who shall be named Rapunzel after the beautiful plant that she craved.

Rapunzel wants to live with the prince, but the sorceress won't allow it.

Rising Action:
The wife wants to eat some rapunzel plant so badly that she says she will die without it.  The husband goes into the garden of the sorceress for some and gets caught.  He has to promise to hand over his daughter in return for some rapunzel so that his wife will live.  After Rapunzel is born, the sorceress puts her in the top of a tower with no entrance and climbs her hair to go up and see her.

After Rapunzel secretly marries the prince, her stomach grows larger with pregnancy.  The sorceress discovers this and cuts Rapunzel's hair off, sends her to the wild country to live, and pretends like it is still Rapunzel who lets down her hair for the prince.

Falling Action:
The prince climbs her hair, sees the ugly sorceress and is grief stricken.  He falls to the ground.  He is now blind and stumbles around in misery. 

He finally finds his wife and her tears of joy cure his blindness.  They go back to his kingdom to live happily ever after.

These illustrations are beautiful.  Each one looks like a masterpiece painting.  The pages are completely covered and the intricate detail is waiting to be discovered.  The old world look of the pictures perfectly lends to this beautiful retelling of an old favorite.

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