Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Written by: Paul O. Zelinsky

First line: Long ago, there lived a man and a woman who had no children.

Why you should read this book: Zelinsky won the Caldecott Medal for this amazing reimagining of the classic fairy tale, which he sets in the Italian Renaissance and fills with astonishing architecture, billowing fabric, and sweeping landscapes. The tale of the girl with extremely long hair and the sorceress who bought her for a few bowls of salad is drawn from multiple sources, but maintains the euphemism of sexual misconduct as revealed by a dress that no longer fits (and what a beautiful dress it is). The sorceress is the arbiter of morality in this version, punishing Rapunzel and her handsome prince for their secret elopement; and while the sorceress loses the company of her darling daughter, the lovers are reunited and, along with their children, return to the prince’s own country to live happily ever after.

Why you shouldn’t read this book: You don’t like pretty things.

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