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Petrosinella: A Neopolitan Rapunzel
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Petrosinella: A Neopolitan Rapunzel

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  72 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Predating the Grimm fairy tale Rapunzel by nearly 200 years, Petrosinella contains some exciting differences, as the imprisoned heroine uses both her wits and magic to outsmart her captor and live happily ever after. Watercolor and colored ink illustrations.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 1st 1995 by Dial Books (first published January 1st 1981)
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Sep 15, 2016 Miriam rated it really liked it
Now that see the illustrations (which are very nice) I think I read this one as a child. It's an earlier version of Rapunzel story, from Italy, with the same basic set-up (the stolen salad greens, the tower, the long hair) but a lot of differences, including omitting the pregnancy and blinding, and instead having the prince and prisoner make their escape together.

Here a not-so-dumb Petrosinella is eavesdropping on the ogress as she discussed magic with her friend.
Hannah Cone
Sep 23, 2015 Hannah Cone rated it really liked it
Shelves: edrd314-006
Petrosinella is a version of the popular "Rapunzel" story, made popular by the Brother's Grimm. This version precedes the Brothers Grimm story by almost 200 years, according to the author, Diane Stanley, resulting in a rich look into the stories and traditions from earlier times.

In the story, a woman is caught stealing enticing parsley from an ogress' garden, resulting in the loss of the women's first born child to the witch. Locking up the girl, appropriately named Petrosinella, meaning parsley
This is the earliest version that became the base for the Grimm's fairy tale (that predates the Grimms by 200 years) written by Giambatista Basile in 1637.

Here heroine's name comes from "petrosine" for parsley. Petrosinella is quite different from the Grimm's Rapunzel. Here the women take a more active part in the plot. Petrosinella birth mother, the ogress - the witch in the later English version and Petrosinella is a more strong, active character not just a girl who needs to be rescued. The e
Anna Shepstead
Feb 28, 2016 Anna Shepstead rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairy-tales
In Petrosinella, a mother-to-be lives next to an ogress who has a beautiful garden full of delicious-looking herbs, which the mother wants to eat (specifically the parsley). One day, she decides to go into the ogress's garden when she's not home, but one day turns into two, and two into three, and so on; soon, the ogress begins to suspect theft and catches the pregnant woman in the act of stealing the herb. In order to protect herself from being killed on the spot, the woman promises to give the ...more
Mary Catelli
A take on an old fairy tale.

It's also adapted from Basile, since Basile's high-faluting language has been cut down. (How high-faluating? Well, what this book called a forest so dark and frightening few ventured there, a more literal translation said, "a wood which the horses of the Sun never entered, not having paid the toll to the pastures of those Shades."

And it's not quite fair to call this a Neopolitan Rapunzel. Much reasonable to call Rapunzel a German Petrosinella, since Rapunzel came late
Jan 30, 2012 Pkelsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an Italian version of Rapunzel from sometime in the late 1500s or early 1600s, republished with illustrations in 1981. This particular version is illustrated by Diane Stanley, who appears to have signed my copy of this book to myself and my sister while we were in elementary school. The illustrations are luscious - crisp and elegant, they have exquisite detail. The main character is drawn with a gorgeous Italian Renaissance Madonna face. The story itself is the usual insipid muddle of bo ...more
I picked this up to take to my sister's house because my niece has been a little Rapunzel obsessed lately, and it was worth the extra trip to the library. The illustrations are lovely (although not quite to the level of Paul O. Zelinsky's version), and I really enjoyed that it's a different version of the well-known story, complete with a Neopolitan setting. I'm endlessly fascinated by folk and fairy tales that have the same base story, and it was fun to have my niece realize it was a Rapunzel s ...more
Deanna Vaughn
Feb 12, 2014 Deanna Vaughn rated it really liked it
This is a cute tale of Rapunzel with a Neapolitan twist. A mother promises her child to an old ogress to spare her life. The ogress takes what is owed to her and locks the child in a tall tower in the middle of a deep forest. A young prince hears Petrosinella singing and helps to rescue her. This is a unique variation to the classic. I love the pictures throughout the book. I think this is a great book to keep in the classroom for a higher level reader.
Apr 02, 2015 Danielle rated it it was amazing
A Neapolitan Rapunzel- I really enjoyed this unique and interesting telling of Rapunzel. There were elements to this version that are different from every other Rapunzel, and I loved it. As the introduction points out this is a version in which Rapunzel actively sets herself free. I also liked the long courtship of Rapunzel and the Prince- it wasn't your typical love-at-first-sight but a relationship on actually talking to one another. I definitely recommend this story.
I didn't read this particular edition rather an e-book. Prezzemolina is another Italian version. This again has not a single witch but a group of fairies and the theft is done by the mother herself. Fairies do not ask for the baby but for the young girl when she turns into a young maid. Then gives her the Cinderella treatment, meets a good fairy among them....

I've read another version very similar to this but I can't remember which.

This one has no long hair or towers.
Jul 18, 2016 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Diane Stanley's author's note is interesting, as is the story. The whole bit about the blind prince, the desert, the twins, is missing, as is the girl's father. I loved the pictures, though some might find them just a bit too pretty. Highly recommended to anyone who explores older folklore and fairy tales. But I wonder if children like it? Sentimental girls, but anyone else?

I will look for more by Stanley, for both her art and her voice in this adaptation.
Dec 09, 2013 Gretchen rated it it was ok
This is a retelling of Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm. The group of kindergardeners I read it to loved it. The illustrations are beautiful.
May 31, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Sort of a combination between Rapunzel and Baba Yaga. Interesting. I don't like the ending rhyme very much, though. It doesn't really seem relevant.
Jan 26, 2010 Kiera rated it really liked it
I liked this book because of my own personal connection with Italy (where this version comes from), and it also has beautiful illustrations.
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Born to a Neapolitan middle-class family, Basile was, during his career, a courtier and soldier to various Italian princes, including the doge of Venice. According to Benedetto Croce he was born in 1575, while other sources have February 1566. In Venice he began to write poetry. Later he returned to Naples to serve as a courtier under the patronage of Don Marino II Caracciolo, prince of Avellino, ...more
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