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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Violence & Scariness
The sorceress screams at Rapunzel, grabs her hair, and cuts it off. The prince falls from the tower, blinding himself.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Rapunzel's mother and, later, Rapunzel become pregnant.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the heroine is locked away from the world and the prince is blinded in a fall. The story is riveting, the language is powerful, and the oil paintings are beautiful.
Is It Any Good?
This classic tale retold brims with passion and grace, and the emotional intensity of Paul O. Zelinsky's work is bewitching. Spectacular oil paintings, rich with color and light, dive below surface appearances to convey deep feelings and relationships. The vividness of the illustrations is matched by a text that is simple yet elegant, dotted with words such as wretched and luxuriant.
Some children will find the language and the formal, Renaissance-style paintings a challenge, but for those who are able to take in this story, there's a lot (in addition to history and language skills) to be gained. Through all of the drama, children are offered an important lesson about love. Rage, grief, and jealousy flash through the story, but in the end, it is love that prevails. Zelinsky extensively researched the origin of this story and provides notes on the sources.
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