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4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,268 Ratings  ·  813 Reviews
Surely among the most original and gifted of children's book illustrators, Paul O. Zelinsky has once again with unmatched emotional authority, control of space, and narrativecapability brought forth a unique vision for an age-old tale. Few artists at work today can touch the level at which his paintings tell a story and exert their hold.Zelinsky's retelling of Rapunzel rea ...more
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published 1997 by Dutton Children's Books
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Jubilation Lee
So here’s a story, guys. Husband and wife are in love. Wife has crazy cravings. Husband satiates cravings at cost of wife’s baby. Baby raised by sorceress. Sorceress keeps baby locked in a tower from the time she’s twelve, so she never comes in contact with men.

From stage left, in comes the dashing Prince, who pulls himself up Baby’s – now Young Woman’s – hair and enters her tower.

Enters. Her tower.

Rapunzel saw that he was young and handsome; in her own heart she felt a happiness she had never k
Jul 13, 2009 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-for-kids
Maybe because my teacher said something in class, but I was expecting something different from this book. I thought maybe it would be 'de-constructing' the fairy tale in someway, but instead it was just sort of putting it together in a mismash of various versions, some Grimm, some earlier traditions. The illustrations were interesting, and the abundance of cats in the pictures were nice.
Kristine Hansen
Sep 02, 2015 Kristine Hansen rated it really liked it
If you're a fan of the Italian Renaissance, this is a version that will visually delight. The story of Rapunzel is re-told with a blending of versions that is interesting and not too scary (thanks for all the nightmares Brothers Grimm!). The detail is exquisite and each picture begs to be lingered over. I appreciated the notes at the end about the original story as well.

Overall, the best part? Finding out the tower is related to Dr. Who's TARDIS apparently. I would have liked to explore the man
The story of Rapunzel was always one of my favorite fairy tales growing up. I was intrigued by the idea of a girl kept hidden in a tower, letting her hair down to let the world in, but never being able to leave that tower. With sumptuous oil paintings that allow the beauty of the tower and Rapunzel with her amazingly-long tresses to be highlighted, the author/illustrator takes readers to a different place and time than their current surroundings. Echoing as he does the style of Italian Renaissan ...more
Ashley Adams
Dec 10, 2012 Ashley Adams rated it it was amazing
1. Picture Book: Traditional Literature
2. This is the retelling of Rapunzel, the story of a young girl who is forced to grow up in isolation and confinement because a sorceress is hiding her from the king, when she meets a prince who is enchanted by her voice and her long, lustrous hair. She then has to learn how to live on her own after many years of confinement, and is reunited with her prince.
3. Critique:
a. Zelinsky brings the age-old tale of Rapunzel to life with his beautiful illustrations
Agne Jakubauskaite
3.5 out of 5
I love the idea that in Zelinsky's illustrations the sorceress, who imprisons Rapunzel in a tower, seems less like an evil witch and more like an overprotective mother.
Lucy March
Dec 10, 2015 Lucy March rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

This book is BEAUTIFUL.

My favorite version of Rapunzel to-date. The story is well-told and the pictures are not only GORGEOUS, they're REAL somehow... The expressions on the faces, the folds of fabric, the background details (there's a cat you see growing up alongside Rapunzel and you can also see it following her throughout the story, which is really cute... And even just the interior of the tower, houses, the witch's garden are so VIVID) looks so lifelike...

I've seen some reviewers on h
John Yelverton
Oct 21, 2011 John Yelverton rated it really liked it
A very fun story, but it definitely depends on what version you read.
Coleccionista  De finales tristes
I Genitori di Rapunzel fanno un trato con una strega per Questo Rapunzel vive con lei, dopo Rapunzel conosce un uomo e si innamora, la strega fa che lui deva andare via al deserto e perda la vista.

Los padres de Rapunzel hacen un trato con una bruja y por esto Rapunzel tiene que ir a vivir con ella. Rapunzel conoce a un príncipe y se embaraza del príncipe, la bruja se enoja y lo envía a el a un desierto y además lo deja ciego. Rapunzel sale a buscarlo.

Rapunzel tiene dos hijos.

El cuento es muy al
Aiyana Martinez
Feb 16, 2015 Aiyana Martinez rated it liked it
Paul Zelinksy in my eyes brings the typical story of a young girl stuck up in a tower for years to a modern old time story that tells you more about her story of how she got to up in the tower and her love story after. Zelinksy starts the story off as we all know it by by having a witch trade her herbs for a couples baby. The witch soon takes the baby and hides her from the cruel world she thinks she's in. The story continues to be the same as every Rapunzel told until the witch hurts the man wh ...more
I loved the illustrations in this book, particularly the use of color. (Caldecott Honor book, too.) Great details that could easily be overlooked, too. I also liked reading the history of the fairy tale. I did not know it dated as far back, or know of the many changes that had occurred. In fact, only vaguely do I remember ever hearing a version where Rapunzel was pregnant, and that's why the witch cast her out.

This is also one of those fairy tales that, though I love the aspect of long, gorgeou
“Rapunzel” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book from the talented Paul O. Zelinsky and it is a classic Brothers Grimm tale about how a young woman named Rapunzel meets her true love after being trapped in a tower for many years and how she tries to keep this secret from a wicked sorceress. “Rapunzel” is truly a captivating story about true love that many children will love for many years.

Paul O. Zelinsky’s story about a young girl imprisoned in her castle has been a cult classic in the fairy
Sep 27, 2012 Mae rated it it was amazing
Mark as A, B, and C
A = In this re-telling of a classic tail, Paul Zelinsky blends the more modern Grimm tale with an older Neapolitan story "Petronsinella". A new husband and soon to be father tries to satisfy his wife's craving for the rapunzel growing in the sorceress's garden next door. Caught stealing, he agree to give his new baby to the sorceress in return. The sorceress raises the child and then places her in the woods in a high tower with no entrance except a high window. The only access
Mariah Olson
Rapunzel is another book I’ve known and read since I was a little girl and is one of those ‘princess locked away in the tower’ books that most young girls love to read about, considering she gets rescued by the handsome prince. The illustrations in this book gave great pictures to go along with the reading by showing the characters vividly and the places they went. The tower was beautifully drawn as well as Rapunzel and the details in her long, braided hair. I loved how the sorceress was shown a ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Once upon a time there was a happily married couple whose only sorrow was that they did not have a child. Then one day, they learn the woman is pregnant and the sorrow is replaced with joy. The wife liked to sit by the window overlooking a beautiful walled garden owned by a sorceress. One day she saw an abundant bed of the herb rapunzel, and a great need to eat some overcome her. Telling her husband she will die if she doesn't have some, he dutifully climbs down into the garden and steals some. ...more
Monique Clem
Jan 24, 2013 Monique Clem rated it liked it
Age group: 6-11
Paul O. Zelinsky

The book tells about a man and woman that bare a child after not being able to. Her cravings during pregnancy cause her to be enticed by her sorceress neighbor's rapunzel (parsely) in her garden. Once caught by the sorceress she agrees to let them have the rapunzel only if she gets to keep there child. After getting the child, she names her Rapunzel and she keeps her locked away in a tower until a prince comes by and hears her sing. They fall in love and Ra
Rike Jokanan
May 20, 2010 Rike Jokanan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed

What I like about this story is not its happily ever after but it is more on the main character's loooong hair. How can a girl have such a long hair that somebody climbs it to reach where she is without making the owner of the hair gets hurt or the hair lost?

Hey, Girl in the world...
What is Rapunzel’s strength saved in her hair?
I won’t doubt that it is her courage to be alone kept in a very tall tower spelled by a powerful witch. Let’s say the witch symbolizes a cultur
I loved the artwork in this Caldecott winner. Paintings reminiscent of priceless Renaissance art that hangs in museums. Simply beautiful.

But if this were a YA story, I would rip it to shreds. Somehow, this shizz is totally ok for fairy tales. But it just totally got on my nerves.

Art = 5 stars
The story of a kidnapped girl, left alone in a tower, thrown out into the wilds to die when she becomes pregnant by a prince who survives a 50 foot fall only to lose his eyesight, to then only gain it back
Apr 01, 2016 •Carrie• rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations. Part of the story was a new-to-me retelling. I've never read a version where there was a marriage and children. I would have to consider this a favorite out of all the versions I've read.
Shelbey Rehg
Sep 03, 2015 Shelbey Rehg rated it really liked it
Shelves: edrd-314
It is very interesting reading these fairytales and folktales because their are so many versions from the original. In life everybody could have a different idea of what they are about or what they feel the story tells.
Brittney Finck
Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky

Rapunzel is a story that has been retold in many ways and fashions yet Paul O. Zelinsky’s illustrations are one of a kind. The facial expression of the witch cutting Rapunzel’s hair is the perfect example of the emotion captured in these life-like illustrations. The characters are surprisingly human looking which adds to the wonderful story of a kidnapped girl. A common theme among all Rapunzel renditions is the tower. It is obvious that Paul O. Zelinsky realized this
1998 Caldecott Medal

This book was dear to me as a child, and I've always had a fascination with long, glorious hair ever since. The illustrations are beautiful and reflect the French and Italian influences that shaped the story of Rapunzel itself.
Emily Hollander
Genre: Traditional Literature
Award: Caldecott medal
Grade Levels: K-2

In my classroom, I could use this story for an enjoyable story time for the students. It is a story that takes a young student into another world and allows them to dive into fantasies. This is also a story of good conquering evil, which is an important theme to young readers. A follow up activity could be instruct the students to draw a scene that represents good conquering evil. I could give them some examples from other stori
It was my first time reading this story and I thought it was a little weird. The sorceress was creepy for taking the baby which was Rapunzel away from a couple, also for making Rapunzel live in a tower. However, what I liked about this story was that the prince fell in love with Rapunzel just by listening to her. The illustration are wonderful, it reminds me of the renaissance. Also, I really liked how the prince and Rapunzel reunited and live happily ever after. Overall, even though I think the ...more
Based on the Grimm brothers version of Rapunzel. Gorgeous illustrations.
Tayler McNickle
Apr 20, 2016 Tayler McNickle rated it really liked it
Shelves: traditional
The story of Rapunzel starts with a married couple, who have been trying to have a baby for awhile. The wife, finally pregnant, is craving the rapunzel growing in a sorceress' garden below. She said she would die without it. No one has ever dared entering the garden before, but the loving husband decided to get some for his wife. She ate it and wanted more. The next time he ventured into the garden, he was caught by the sorceress. She told him he could take it, but must give up the child. He agr ...more
Matt Vagts
Traditional-literature book #14
This book is about a young couple and the wife is pregnant. She see's the herb Rapunzel and she has a strong urge to eat it. However, the herb belongs to a sorceress. Her husband secretly steals the herb for her and eventually he gets caught. The sorceress tell him that he can give his wife the herb but when the baby is born he has to give it to her. When the baby is born the sorceress raises it. When the child is a little bit older the sorceress takes her to live
Pedro C
Mar 22, 2016 Pedro C rated it really liked it
Zelinsky, Paul O. Rapunzel (1997).
Motif: long hair
The story of a long-haired girl kept in an unreachable tower, and a prince who finds her and wins her heart. The story starts with a family who finally is able to have a child. One day, the wife is plagued by a craving for a herb (rapunzel) that grows at a sorceress garden. The husband is caught stealing the herbs by the sorceress. In return for sparing his life and the rapunzel he stole, the sorcerers demands that the husband promise her
Chris Shue
Mar 04, 2016 Chris Shue rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lacy Adorante
Feb 17, 2016 Lacy Adorante rated it it was ok
"Rapunzel" by Paul O. Zelinsky is classified as a traditional literature genre, and I think that this fits well into this category. This story is a timeless tale that has been told many times over in different adaptations. This story in this particular book is not the one I remember being told many times as a child, so it is unique to read a more traditional version of this story that has not been altered. I do not remember ever reading this version of this story, although it seems like it would ...more
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Born 1953

Paul O. Zelinsky grew up in Wilmette, Illinois, the son of a mathematics professor and a medical illustrator. He drew compulsively from an early age, but did not know until college that this would be his career. As a Sophomore in Yale College he enrolled in a course on the history and practice of the picture book, co-taught by an English professor and Maurice Sendak. This experience inspi
More about Paul O. Zelinsky...

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