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Rapunzel (Classic Tales for the Cellphone Generation)

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  9,283 ratings  ·  543 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 narrative capability 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 r...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Dutton Juvenile (first published January 1st 1997)
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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...more
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.
John Yelverton
A very fun story, but it definitely depends on what version you read.
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...more
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
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...more
“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...more
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...more
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
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...more
Rike Jokanan

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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
This is the story of a husband and wife who so badly wanted to have a baby. Finally, they were pregnant and she craved the herb called Rapunzel from the garden behind their house which belonged to a sorcerer. The husband went to get more but the sorceress appeared before him and said that she would take the baby once she born. When the baby was born the sorcerer named her Rapunzel The child was beautiful and lived in a tower where the only way in was to climb her luscious locks of golden hair. F...more
David Korsak
This story is about a mother and father who were trying to have a child and they have been trying for a long time, but then one day she becomes pregnant, what a miracle. She sees a bush of Rapunzel in the neighbor’s garden and craves it more and more everyday so the Husband would go and get it for her. Although the twist is that it was the sorceress’s garden and in exchange she got to receive the child that was born. The wife finally delivered her baby and the sorceress locked her in a tower. Th...more
Kate Reilly
Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky is a very well written folklore book. Children will most likely already be familiar with the book by the time they are in school due to several of the different adaptions and movies circulating around today. The story is about a couple who is expecting a child. The wife has a craving for the rapunzel plant (which is an herb) and the husband steals rapunzel from a garden only to be caught in the act by the sorceress. As a result, the couple has to give their child to...more
Van Phan
Unlike the traditional told version on Rapunzel, this book takes the classic and turn it into art. Zelinsky is known to express the message of the story though his unique illustrations. Unlike the witch that keeps Rapunzel in the tall tower, the "witch" in this book is a sorcerer. When Rapunzel grew up to age twelve, the sorcerer kept her locked up in the tower and locked in from growing and experiencing what life has to offer. What makes this book a motif are the characters. The storyline, comp...more
Joel Wicecarver
The German folktale of Rapunzel is a classical piece of literature due to its unparalleled recognition of characters, plot line, illustrations and portrayal of fantasy. I interpret the story’s best feature to be shocking because the story uses magic and fantasy as a technique to imbedded in all the various models of the story interprets fantasy. A direct example of this ideal is seen by the characters of the story which include a sorceress, a princess, and other fable like features. This explain...more
Sean Dornbush
Rapunzel is a classical piece of literature, famously known for its characters, plot line, illustrations, and use of fantasy. I think the story’s most striking feature is its use of fantasy and magic: every element and part of the story has some kind of fantasy involved with it. The characters include a sorceress, princes, and the like. These are usually the types of characters found in classical literature, particularly because of their use of fantasy. This is also why, like many classical tale...more
Kristen Twitty
The story of Rapunzel is a class fairy tale. A husband and Wife have to give up their daughter to a sorcerer in return for the wife to be able to eat his Rapunzel. The sorcerer keeps her locked and hidden in a high tower in the woods.She wasn't able to leave.There were no doors just one window at the top. In order for anyone to get in they used her long beautiful blonde hair. "Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair" A prince comes along and falls in love with her, and they got married in the towe...more
Kelly Armstrong
I have always enjoyed the story of Rapunzel, but had forgotten some of the background story to it until now. I really enjoyed re-reading it and being reminded of how she got her name from the flowers, that she was sent away from her tower for getting pregnant, and the happy ending. This book is age-appropriate for preschool to elementary school grades, just depending on if it is read to them or they read it themselves. It has pictures that will appeal to everyone and go along with the text, a st...more
Courtney Dyer
Rapunzel is the 1998 Caldecott Medal Winner by master illustrator and storyteller Paul O. Zelinsky. He combined Italian, French, and German versions in his retelling of this classic tale and paired them with beautiful Italian Renaissance styled oil paintings cast with warm, golden tones.

There once was a man and a woman who’s only sorrow was that they had no children. Then, one day, the woman felt her dress becoming too tight around the waist and they were filled with joy. The wife spent her days...more
Salima Sikandar
A retelling of Brothers Grimm famous tale by Barbara Rogasky. I enjoyed this retelling of the traditional Rapunzel because of the illustrations. The story follows the traditional telling of this fairytale but the illustrations make this version very unique by enhancing the story. I would recommend this book for older children. However, the classic tale and images in the story may attract variety of different age groups.
The genre, Traditional Literature/Picture Book Biography was also spot on. T...more
Alexis Overstreet
I have never been a fan of Rapunzel so I didn't really like this book. It has a good idea of a story line and I think back when this book was published is was reasonable but now I don't think it is beneficial. I do think this book is good for the age group it is intended for because it shows not to give up on love. It represents its genre good because it is Traditional Literature because now a days most girls know that there aren't any fairytales in the real world. When you lose someone you love...more
Rapunzel is a classic fairytale about the story of a young woman who is trapped inside a tall tower. Later on in the story she meets her Prince Charming, and live happily ever after. There are several obstacles that come in the way through the story. The illustrations in this book were very fitting for the age group and helped the overall feeling of the book. The illustrations by Zelinsky draw the reader in, definitely extend to plot, establish the historic setting, and provide benefits to the o...more
This book is about a young girl who is locked away in a tall tower by an old sorceress. The sorceress acquired her when her father was caught stealing herbs from the sorceress’s garden before she was born and promised her to the sorceress in exchange for the herbs. The girl is found by a prince who hears her lovely singing and climbs up to her and woos her. They fall in love and get married all without the sorceress finding out. She finally does find out when the girl’s dress no longer fits arou...more
Caty Carino
The story Rapunzel is filled with elegant and vivid illustrations, which engages the reader from one page to another. Even though the pictures are beautifully drawn, the actual story is filled with such rich text. The correlation between the picture and the words was flawless. Paul O. Zelinsky dictated the story where the pictures and the words went together so well, it was magical. A fairytale filled with colorful illustrations is what truly makes a book captivating. This is a classic tale. For...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
More about Paul O. Zelinsky...
Rumpelstiltskin The Wheels on the Bus Hansel and Gretel Knick Knack Paddywhack (New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books (Awards)) The Maid And The Mouse And The Odd Shaped House:  A Story In Rhyme (A Puffin Unicorn)

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