Reviews for Petrosinella : A Neapolitan Rapunzel


School Library Journal Reviews 1995 June
K-Gr 3?Stanley offers a Neapolitan version of Rapunzel that predates the Grimms by 200 years. Petrosinella (``parsley'' in Italian) is similar in many ways to the more familiar Grimm tale, but here the women play a more active part in the plot. It is Petrosinella's pregnant mother (not her father) who steals the parsley from the ogress?the event that leads to the girl's imprisonment. Likewise, it is the girl who discovers the secret to her release (three hidden acorns) and who implements the steps that cause the destruction of the enchantress. Stanley's watercolors and colored inks are rendered in royal blues and verdant greens?a fitting backdrop for the young woman and the prince with whom she falls in love, and an effective contrast to the ugly hag. Visual parallels, however, abound; note the folds in the cliffs, the ogress's face, and the bulldog's jowls in the scene with the first acorn. Pair this story with Rafe Martin's Rough-Face Girl (Putnam, 1992) and traditional tellings of ``Rapunzel'' and ``Cinderella'' for a group discussion of fairy-tale variants. An introductory note details the sources.?Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA

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