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Sugar Cane: A Caribbean Rapunzel

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4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  177 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews

"You live in a tower without a stair,
Sugar Cane, Sugar Cane, let down your hair."

Stolen away from her parents on her first birthday by island sorceress Madam Fate, beautiful Sugar Cane grows up in a tower overlooking the sea. With only a pet green monkey named Callaloo for company, Sugar Cane is lonely-her only consolation is her love of music. Often she stands at her wind
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Hardcover, 48 pages
Published June 19th 2007 by Jump At The Sun (first published March 1st 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jenny
The illustrations were gorgeous and really helped evoke the Caribbean island setting, and the story line was a good mix of the traditional Rapunzel tale and new twists. However, it was quite long. We read it in two settings and even then it felt long. We liked it, but it was definitely long for a bedtime story.
Marjorie Ingall
Jan 19, 2014 Marjorie Ingall rated it it was amazing
Holy crap, best picture-book Rapunzel ever. Has that strange, flat matter-of-fact fairy-tale affect, but it's paired with the most lush and gorgeous language -- not quite sure how Patrician Storace managed this. I was about to say that it definitely has Caribbean flavor, but it's way more than flavor; the place-ness is totally embedded in the story, so it doesn't feel like a white European tale with black characters grafted on. And it is just delicious, with the food (mangos and coconut and blac ...more
Dolly
Mar 02, 2015 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an entertaining Caribbean version of the classic Grimm story of Rapunzel. The narrative is a bit long (I have to admit that I was falling asleep while I was reading it, but I was exhausted - the story is not boring.) Our oldest finished reading it aloud to us and the next morning, I picked up the story where I dropped off.

The gorgeously textured illustrations are terrific and really help to convey an island atmosphere. Overall, I thought the tale was well written and I was enchanted by
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Lauri Meyers
Jan 26, 2015 Lauri Meyers rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Lengthy folk tale version of Rapunzel set in the Caribbean. Full of gorgeous language, though I would have enjoyed more pictures to share with the kids and found myself condensing some sections. One picture of Madame Fate (who always wore a mask) was quite scary for bedtime. I never found myself really comparing this to other Rapunzel stories; it really stands alone as its own story.
Peninnah
May 25, 2015 Peninnah rated it it was amazing
The illustrations are fantastic and the story wonderful. Music and art play a large roll in bringing our heroine and hero together.
China Harris
Feb 27, 2017 China Harris rated it really liked it
“You live in a tower without a stair, Sugar Cane, Sugar Cane, let down your hair.” Sugar Cane is a literary retelling of the fairy tale Rapunzel set in the Carribean. It is not based on a Carribean tale but it is full of Carribean culture. It is lengthy for a picture book, more appealing for advanced readers. The story is nicely told and offers a different culture to the well-known European versions. So many of the tales told in America have been taken from European versions of the narrative tha ...more
Jessie
Dec 31, 2016 Jessie rated it really liked it
This was a really cool retelling of Rapunzel in a Caribbean setting.

Sugar Cane and King bonding over music was my favorite thing about this. That and telling each other stories is really how they fall in love.

Other things I liked: the monkey and his sweet tooth, magical jewelry, dancing all night, spirit teachers from all times/places.
Michaila
Dec 19, 2016 Michaila rated it really liked it
This is a book that is the story of Rapunzel, but told in the Caribbean Culture. This book is also multicultural. I would use this in a second-third grade classroom to compare and contrast the regular Rapunzel book and this Rapunzel book.
Jo Oehrlein
Dec 30, 2016 Jo Oehrlein rated it it was amazing
A little bit of magic and a lot of really good storytelling in this Rapunzel story that is well adapted to the Caribbean setting.
Bessana Kendig
Feb 27, 2017 Bessana Kendig rated it it was amazing
Sugar Cane is the Caribbean Rapunzel. Her parents selfishly take from a sorcerer who in return takes their first born child high into a hidden tower without a door. There she sends ghost tutors and masters of the arts to teach the child named Sugar Cane how to play music. Sugar Cane meets her true love and when the sorcerer discovers this, Sugar Cane escapes and searches for her lover until they find each other and get married.

I give this story a five star rating. Mostly because in this version
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Kimberly Idso
Feb 27, 2016 Kimberly Idso rated it liked it
Sugar Cane: A Caribbean Rapunzel is the story of a girl named Sugar Cane. Before she was born, her mother craved sugar cane. She needed it so badly that she had her husband travel far from the island to find some. When her husband found some sugar cane, he desperately stole it from an evil sorcerer named Madame Fate. As punishment Madame Fate took away the couple's beautiful baby on her first birthday. Madame Fate then locked her in a tower and visited the young girl frequently throughout the ye ...more
Theresa C
Oct 24, 2010 Theresa C rated it it was amazing
Storace, Patricia. Sugar Cane A Caribbean Rapunzel Hyperion Books, 2007
Madame Fate, a sorceress has stolen Sugar Cane away from her parents on her first birthday and locked her in a tower. Her only companion is a pet monkey named Callaloo and her love of music. While standing at the window of the tower and singing, her voice is heard by a young man who was in his boat, fishing and singing his own tunes. He finds the tower and climbs up Sugar Cane’s hair. As they get to know one another over tim
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Leah
Apr 20, 2015 Leah rated it it was amazing
A retelling of Rapunzel in a Caribbean setting. I really enjoyed this one! The illustrations were perfect - colorful, evocative, timeless. The story had a lot more words than I'm used to in a children's picture book which I loved. I also loved that the parents never gave up looking for their daughter after the sorceress took Sugar Cane. I thought it quite clever that Madame Fate, being a conjure-woman, resurrected great teachers and philosophers to educate Sugar Cane in her tower by the sea.

Othe
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Tara
Feb 29, 2012 Tara rated it really liked it
Shelves: rll-520
What a beautiful variation of Rapunzel!

Set on a Carribean island, "Rapunzel's" mother craved sugar cane while pregnant. As the father/husband repeatedly gathered some for her, he was found by a sorceress, Madam Fate, who swore revenge by stealing Sugar Cane back from them (the name of their unborn daughter).

True to the original tale, Sugar Cane (Rapunzel) was locked in a tower and had to release her hair to let the sorceress in... but living in the tower with her is her sweets-loving pet monkey,
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Chelsea
Mar 04, 2013 Chelsea rated it really liked it
Storace, Patricia, and Raul Colon. Sugar Cane: A Caribbean Rapunzel. New York: Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, 2007. Print. 48 p.
A Caribbean couple are soon to have a baby. The baby's mother constantly craves sugar cane while pregnant. The baby's father, a fisherman, finds sugar cane wherever he can, even if he must steal it, to give to his pregnant wife to sustain her cravings. Upon stealing sugar cane from Madame Fate, he is warned by her that she will take the baby, to be named S
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Lamar Sanders
Jul 16, 2012 Lamar Sanders rated it it was amazing
Main Characters: Sugar Cane, Madame Fate, King
Point of View: 3rd person
Setting: Caribbean island
As an obvious take on the classic tale of Rapunzel, Sugar Cane manages to refresh and reframe the tale for new audiences. Cursed by her fathers misfortunes while trying to satisfy her before her birth, Sugar Cane is taken by Madame Fate on her 1st birthday. She is held captive in a tower where she is kept company by ner pet monket Calloo and tutored by great spirits that Madame Fate raises from the de
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Connie
Jun 16, 2009 Connie rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful book. It has beautiful, rich illustrations, and it has wonderfully poetic text. The story is much more fleshed out than many versions of Rapunzel - and I'm not ashamed to admit how happy I am to have a princess story that avoids all that long blond hair. I'm tired of my two biracial nieces complaining about their hair because it's "not princess hair". Really, it breaks my heart to hear it.

I firmly recommend this to any child's library. One major caveat though - this is a long
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Joel
Oct 24, 2007 Joel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: art lovers
Seldom have I felt tempted to rip the pictures in a book out and hang them on my wall, but this thought ran through my mind several times while reading Sugar Cane, a retelling of Rapunzel against the backdrop of the Caribbean. Colon’s artwork is a highlight of this work that is at times inspiring and disappointing. Storace makes use of her new setting to recast elements of the story-- the Prince becomes a musician named King, the witch becomes a sorceress named Madame Fate—and adds details that ...more
J.L.
May 20, 2010 J.L. rated it it was amazing
This was a detailed story about a girl stolen from her poverty-stricken parents by Madame Fate, who kept her locked in a tower for years. Of course, she falls in love with a young man who risks his life by climbing her hair and visiting her in the tower, the two of them singing love songs together. Eventually, Sugar Cane (the name of the girl) makes a harrowing escape, in the nick of time to save her life, and eventually finds her lover, whom she marries. At the wedding, her parents recognize th ...more
Chris Calzolaio
Nov 16, 2016 Chris Calzolaio rated it it was amazing
This picture book provides a fantastic retelling of the of the classic Grimm fairy tale, Rapunzel. In this version of the story, the Rapunzel character, Sugar Cane, lives on a Caribbean island. The rest of the story follows the typical Rapunzel tale with a few minor variations.

The story of Rapunzel is a classic story that has been retold countless times. For me, the Rapunzel story is really not that interesting; however, this book truly brings the tale to life. The artwork in this book is fanta
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Marissa García
"They began to be together even when they were apart, something that happens when people love each other."

Sugar Cane is a stunning retelling of Rapunzel, brimming with warm Caribbean breeze and gorgeous language. The lyrical language and light-filled illustration of Raul Colon make for a powerful experience, but my favorite element of this tale is the building of a strong relationship between Sugar Cane and her "prince", one that is based on a strong foundation and exchange of ideas. I CANNOT re
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Taylor Walczak
This is a great story to show that a familiar story can often be twisted for various other cultures as well. I grew up with the story of Rapunzel and obviously I've seen Disney's Tangled. This story provides an ethnic twist on that and really shows us a different culture. It's a sweet love story about overcoming the odds but also brings forth a very familiar tale of a girl being hidden away in the tower. It's an interesting way to read the familiar story. The illustrations are beautiful and done ...more
Meg
Sep 06, 2013 Meg rated it it was amazing
LOVED this retelling of Rapunzel set on a Caribbean island, with the beautiful Sugar Cane stolen away from her parents by the powerful conjure woman Madame Fate. My 4-year-old daughter is captivated by the jewels and gorgeous flowing locks of hair, while I am captivated by the vivid illustrations, portrayal of a young black woman's hair as being fairy-tale-worthy, and the egalitarian romance (OMG the prince waits until the girl invites him into her tower!). This book is a very wordy retelling an ...more
Taneka
Jun 15, 2013 Taneka rated it really liked it
This is a new spin on the story of Rapunzel. The main characters name is Sugar Cane and she is taken by Madame Fate to live in a tower near the ocean at the age of one, after her father stole sugar cane from Madame Fate’s farm. She learns how to play music and attracts the attention of the boy named King, who is a musician. Madame Fate becomes angry when she finds out about King, and Sugar Cane escapes her tower. King finds her and they marry and live happily ever after.
Vanessa Dougherty
A girl who is stolen away from her family. This book is a Caribeean take on Rapunzel. It is a wonderful story that lets children inside to the culture of Caribbean people. Comparing this version to another allows children to learn the differences in cultures and their ability to make connections between the stories.
Laura
Mar 28, 2012 Laura added it
Shelves: edsl-520
This is a Carribbean version of Rapunzel. Music is a lot more prevelant in this story than in the original story.
Themes: love, traditional fantasy, music, animals
This Caribbean version of Rapunzrl can be paried with other versions of Rapunzel and students can compare and contrast the stories.
Recommended ages 5- 14
Becca
Oct 03, 2016 Becca rated it really liked it
Topics : rapunzel
Characters : a young girl from the caribbean
Classroom relevance : multicultural literature
Grade level(s) : 3rd+ (lots of text)

This illustrated book (not picture) retells the tale of Rapunzel with a Caribbean twist, featuring "Sugar Cane" as Rapunzel. Deviates from the classic tale (she doesn't have twins and the prince doesn't blind himself) and adds Caribbean flair.

Amy
Sep 25, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing
This book was such a good read. The illustrations are beautiful and the writing by an award-winning poet draws the reader in and weaves a Rapunzel-like tale set in the Caribbean complete with magic, love and surprises. This story feels even more satisfying than the original fairy tale.
Regina Ajiboye
May 03, 2015 Regina Ajiboye rated it it was amazing
This book was good Fantasy book for children all over but especially for children in the Caribbean islands. I like the photo illustrations the colors and brightness of the book. I feel this book would a favorite for little girl.
Wilhelmina Jenkins
Jul 03, 2008 Wilhelmina Jenkins rated it really liked it
I was never a fan of Rapunzel - too passive, too much hair! This retelling in a West Indian setting, however, exceeded my expectations. The story is fully and wonderfully developed, and the characters are far more interesting. Well done!
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