Saturday, May 28, 2011
Falling for Rapunzel, written by Leah Wilcox and illustrated by Lydia Monks. Penguin, 2008. $8.50 ages 3 and up
"At this the poor prince had a cry,
then cupped his hands for one last try:
let down your BRAID!"
Confused Rapunzel pushed out
We wondered if Noah would need to know the story of Rapunzel before this book was shared with him. Of course, he didn't! I mean, who wouldn't get a story that is filled with humorous happenings because of an inability to hear clearly what is being said from a distance. Rapunzel is, after all, high up in the tower and the Prince sits upon his horse far below her window. This is one of those books you might get tired of reading before the young 'uns are tired of hearing it again and again and again!
I have always been eager to see 'fractured' fairy tales...some of them are absurd and very funny. Some are not. But, when you find one that you know kids will enjoy, it is sure to be a memorable experience. Leah Wilcox does not disappoint with her first foray into the field of children's literature. It is an auspicious debut, I think!
Their initial back-and-forth results in Rapunzel throwing down her underwear when he asks her to throw down her hair. And so it goes, with a wild assortment of valuables making their way to the bottom of the tower where she is entrapped. Finally, he asks for her braid, which she mishears and offloads her maid. You know what they say about 'falling in love', right? Well, that's the 'happily ever after' ending none of us suspected. Rapunzel thinks she finally got it right and offers advice for the next visit:
"I hope if they come back for more,
they'll think to knock on my back door."
Too funny, indeed!
The kooky collage illustrations will have listeners searching the pages for added humor. As the prince rides up, observant young listeners will notice a city in the background with a highway leading to it, a plane flying above it and Red Riding Hood making a trek across the top of the hill. On it goes! Great language, perfectly matched illustrations and a boatload of fun will make this a much requested read.