Rapunzel by Jutta Ash

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Rapunzel by Jutta Ash

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: Rapunzel, with her beautiful looks and her long golden hair, is locked up at the top of a tall tower waiting for the day when she will be rescued. It's a story that many children know and love well. In this retelling by Jutta Ash, the words and the illustrations combine beautifully and will ensure that children will not tire of reading this wonderful traditional tale – and neither will their parents.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 28 Date: October 2011
Publisher: Andersen Press
ISBN: 978-1849393720

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Rapunzel is the story of a young man and his wife who long for a child of their own. Unfortunately, the wife also yearns to eat the lush rapunzel that grows in the garden next door. She pleads with her husband to fetch her some which he does. However he is spotted by the witch who lives there who tells him that in return for the rapunzel they must give her their first born child. This is a baby girl who is given the name Rapunzel. The witch imprisons her at the top of a tall tower and she can only be reached by the witch climbing up her long golden tresses.

Many years pass until one day a prince is riding by and hears Rapunzel singing beautifully. Seeing how the witch gets in to the tower, he waits until she goes and calls for Rapunzel to let down her hair. They fall in love and start to plot Rapunzel's escape but when the witch discovers what is going on she puts an end to their plans. Luckily though, in the tradition of all good fairy tales, there will be a happy ending.

Jutta Ash has remained faithful to the classic Grimm's fairy tale of Rapunzel so there are no additional quirky bits or twists. She also uses many of the phrases that you might expect with traditional fairy tales such as starting with 'Once upon a time...' and ending with '...they all lived happily ever after.' The story is beautifully told with lovely flowing language and lots of additional details. Because of this, it is a book that is likely to appeal to slightly older children as well as younger ones. Many of the pages have a great deal of text – much more than you would expect in most picture books – whereas other pages are entirely given over to the wonderful illustrations that help to tell the tale so well. The illustrations are really beautiful and artistic with so many gorgeous details but perhaps, as they lack bright colours and humour, are more likely to appeal to older readers. My daughters have really enjoyed spending time looking at these whilst reading the story.

This is a book that newly confident readers will enjoy reading to themselves. However, it is also a book that is worth sharing and reading aloud as this is when you really come to appreciate the quality of the language and the storytelling.

A very different retelling of this much loved tale is Rapunzel by Simona Sanfilipo which is more likely to appeal to younger children.

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Buy Rapunzel by Jutta Ash at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rapunzel by Jutta Ash at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Rapunzel by Jutta Ash at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rapunzel by Jutta Ash at Amazon.com.


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