This gorgeous offering is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm story with intricate illustrations taking center stage.
Reminiscent of elaborate embroidery or tapestries, the pictures create and sustain the tale's magical atmosphere. Particularly arresting are the nighttime scenes, the first of which shows the husband sneaking into the witch's enchanted garden in search of the plants that will cure his ailing wife; it is rendered in hues of purple and blue, with black silhouettes popping out in stark contrast. The size and layout, as well as the color, of the illustrations vary according to the action and mood of the story. For instance, one remarkable page is divided horizontally into four panels; the stunning series of images in silhouette on pastel backgrounds depicts the action described in prose on the facing page in the manner of a graphic novel. A few pages later, an entire two-page spread is devoted to an illustration of the prince riding through the forest with Rapunzel's tower in the background. In this instance, natural colors dominate, forming a lush background for the prince and his horse, which are rendered in exquisite detail.
Children and adults alike will be spellbound, poring over the pages again and again, delighting each time in new details and discoveries.Â (Fairy tale. 6-11)Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
This retelling of the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale hews closely to the original-- including the scary part about the prince being blinded in his fall from the tower and the couple's tearful reunion: "Rapunzel was horrified to see how badly hurt he was and she wept to see his poor eyes." British illustrator Gibb's retro-style artwork observes sentimental convention, too. Romantics will thrill to the flowers woven through Rapunzel's blond tresses, the delicate greenery hanging from her aerie, and the intricate, silhouetted details of the fixtures in cutaway views of various dwellings. Rapunzel (whose dimensions are those of a fashion model) wanders through the forest like Disney's Snow White, dressed in gauzy pink garments and surrounded by deer, birds, and rabbits. The story does make a shift in emphasis that young readers will appreciate, pointing up the help given to the runaway couple by the forest animals, weaving them into Rapunzel's happily-ever- after with the prince: "very now and then they would slip away... to spend a sunny afternoon with the forest creatures--friends they would never forget." An unapologetically frilly diversion. All ages. (May)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
K-Gr 3--The appeal of Gibb's version of the classic tale, in a post-Tangled movie world, is in its whimsical collage illustrations. Much of the action is in black silhouette with dramatic accent hues and only a few scenes in brilliant full color. The pages are full of elaborately detailed illustrations, pink flowers in Rapunzel's long blond tresses, the prince's laced tunic, and the small animals creeping along the pages. The story is fairly simple and sticks to the story except in this case, Rapunzel's mother eats "salad" throughout her pregnancy. Children will enjoy looking at the intricate details as they listen to this time-worn classic.--Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, Kearns Library, UT[Page 160]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.