Cover image for Rapunzel : a groovy fairy tale
Rapunzel : a groovy fairy tale
Roberts, Lynn (Lynn M.)
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Harry N. Abrams, 2003.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm
In this updated version of the Grimm fairy tale, Rapunzel has flaming red hair and is kept imprisoned by her Aunt Esme, a heartless school cafeteria worker, in a tenement apartment with a broken elevator.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.5 0.5 73897.
Added Uniform Title:
Rapunzel. English.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.R52 RAP 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PZ8.R52 RAP 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
PZ8.R52 RAP 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales

On Order



The classic fairy tale about a girl, a witch, a tower, and a head full of long hair is reworked to evoke the groovy 1970s era, when bellbottoms reigned and long hair was all the rage. Full color.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 2. Set in the late 1970s, in the age of long hair, this retelling by the creators of Cinderella: An Art Deco Story (2001) adds a dash of women's lib and groovy style to the familiar tale. Rapunzel lives in a decrepit apartment building with her evil Aunt Esme (a vicious school lunch worker), who must climb Rapunzel's braid because the elevator is broken. The prince is a local rock star, who after discovering Rapunzel, secretly spends happy afternoons with her, listening to albums. When Esme discovers the clandestine meetings, she lops off Rapunzel's hair, and separates the young people. The happy ending brings the couple together again, not as lovers, but as best friends (this is a chaste retelling), and independent Rapunzel sets up a wig business with the remains of her braid. Children may not catch all the 1970s in-jokes scattered among the wild, technically impressive ink-and-watercolor illustrations, but they'll delight in the expressive characters, engaging language, and humorous ties to the modern world. A winning version that will also appeal to high-school art students. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Late 1970s and early 1980s fashion rules the day in this way-out fairy tale." Rapunzel, a stone fox decked out in a red-and-yellow-striped turtleneck, patchwork leather skirt and leg warmers, lives in a decrepit concrete high-rise with her Aunt Esme, a grody cafeteria lunch lady who bears a passing resemblance to Pink Flamingos' Divine. Esme forces Rapunzel to stay in the apartment, and rappels up and down the girl's long red braid of hair. One day, a slack-haired guitar player named Roger witnesses this strange ritual, "and trying his best to imitate Esme's booming voice, he called, `Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!' " and ascends to the balcony. Subsequent illustrations show him giving her a tambourine and strumming a guitar in her room, which is littered with Blondie and Joni Mitchell LPs and ABBA and Elton John posters. In one of the book's best retro moments, the couple hatches an escape plan. "I have a great idea!" says Rapunzel. "Why don't we make a rope ladder from all the scarves and belts I have?" The siblings behind Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story pull out the visual stops in this retelling, which at its heart is true to the classic version. If young readers fail to grasp musical allusions to Aladdin Sane and The Who's Tommy, the stack-heeled shoes, ugly sweaters and banana-seat bike will be familiar enough thanks to the nostalgia mill. There's something here to amuse all ages; grown readers will laugh longest. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-A (relatively) modern take on the folktale. Rapunzel's awful Aunt Esme keeps her locked on the top floor of an abandoned apartment building. The elevator is broken, so when the woman returns from a hard day working at the local school as the world's meanest lunch lady, she hauls herself upstairs via Rapunzel's long, red braid. Roger, the intrepid singer in the school band, discovers Esme's secret and begins visiting the girl regularly, bringing glimpses of the outside world. When Esme discovers the friends' secret, she cuts Rapunzel's braid and turns her out on the street, setting unsuspecting Roger up for an amnesia-inducing fall. The two are, of course, reunited by tale's end, and Rapunzel begins a new career as a wig maker. The book's "groovy" title indicates its late-'70s setting, but the text is free of gratuitous (and to young children, incomprehensible) slang. The reteller relates her plot in simple language, trusting the illustrator to create the `70s feel with his pen-and-ink-embellished watercolor paintings. Adults who remember the period will be amused by the lava lamp, John Travolta poster, and pogo stick; children will likely focus on the cartoonish expressions of wide-eyed Rapunzel and devilish Aunt Esme. Although the quality of writing and illustration ranks this book above sheer novelty purchase, it is unlikely to stand the test of time as well as an ABBA tune.-Eve Ortega, Cypress Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.