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Review of Rapunzel

by Bethan Woollvin; illus. by the author
Primary    Peachtree    32 pp.
10/17    978-1-68263-003-7    $16.95

Woollvin (Little Red, rev. 3/16) offers another wryly comic rewrite of a Grimms favorite, updating it with a can-do, self-rescuing heroine — there’s no prince in sight. Rapunzel resides in a tower, trapped by a witch who visits daily to steal “some golden locks to sell for riches.” Not having it, Rapunzel climbs down her own hair and leaves the tower (a logistically nonsensical escape that readers will just have to go with) to explore the forest. Eventually, she dispatches the witch — in a somewhat bloodthirsty manner, another nod to the Grimms — and graduates to a life of witch-hunting. The direct, energetic text keeps the pace taut. Bold, graphic illustrations — rendered in gouache and using a limited palette of black, white, a single shade of gray, and a brilliant sunflower yellow (assigned to Rapunzel’s locks and select details such as a bird’s beak) — capture the fusion of modern and traditional elements and offer sly tidbits of humor.

From the September/October 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Claire Gross About Claire Gross

Claire Gross is the youth librarian at the Egleston branch of the Boston Public Library and a former associate editor of The Horn Book Magazine.



  1. Oh I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! I own “Little Red” and thought is one of the very best books of the year from any country. The creator is such a major talent. Lovely review!

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