Nick's Reviews > Rapunzel and the Seven Dwarfs: A Maynard Moose Tale

Rapunzel and the Seven Dwarfs by Willy Claflin
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's review
Jul 15, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: folktales-and-storytelling, picture-book
Read in July, 2011

This book is a beautifully crafted bad idea. The Maynard Moose stories are really great when performed live, with Willy and Maynard right there in front of you, with Maynard's delightfully mangled words and phrases. On stage, Maynard is a believable master of malaprops. Like any good storyteller and puppeteer, Willy Claflin draws the audience into believing in Maynard, which is what brings the audience along through his convoluted word misuses and moose-made neologisms.
The thing is, the humor of malaprops and broken English doesn't work as well on the printed page. The twisted fairy tale aspect works better, running Rapunzel and Snow White through a demented blender, and the artwork is clever and warped.
Thus, the book is only a pale imitation of the performed work, like reading a description of the action in a Roadrunner cartoon. It just loses a big something.

That said, the book may have an audience on the basis of its fractured fairy tale concept, but the twisted language will confuse younger readers. Thus, I could only recommend this as a picture book for older kids and up, familiar with both fairy tales and secure in their knowledge of words. That audience will probably love it.
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