Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Hale, Shannon and Dean. 2008. RAPUNZEL’S REVENGE. Ill. by Nathan Hale. New York: Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781599902883 [Suggested Grade Levels 5-10]
Rapunzel, complete with long locks, and Jack, from the Beanstalk tale, join forces in this graphic re-telling of girl power. As in the original tale, Rapunzel is raised by evil Mother Gothel in rich, lush surroundings. Upon discovering that Gothel actually stole her as a baby from her birth mother, Rapunzel refuses to be content. After being banished to a tower in the woods, her hair does grow exceedingly long, however this is where the original story takes a shift.
Rapunzel braids her hair, practices her lassoing skills, frees herself from the tower, and heads off to avenge Gothel’s evil ways. She teams up with sharp, but wimpy Jack, as they make the trek across the “old West” terrain back to Gothel’s kingdom. Along the way, they encounter fantastical obstacles, and become fairy tale heroes.
The organization of the graphics is clean and easy to follow. Rapunzel’s thoughts are easy to distinguish from the dialogue, and teens will connect with much of the first-person angst she reveals throughout the story. Girls will find a hero in “Punzie,” and fairy-tale enthusiasts will enjoy the plot twists. Overall, this is a prize in the graphic novel category.
Include this book in your collection of fractured fairy tales. Discuss how a graphic novel version “fractures” the tale further, i.e. what visual elements of irony, viewpoint, and exaggeration are present.
Other graphic novels with fairy tale elements:
Alley, Zoe B.THERE’S A WOLF AT THE DOOR: FIVE CLASSIC TALES. ISBN 9781596432758
O’Brien, Anne Sibley. THE LEGEND OF HONG KIL DONG: THE ROBIN HOOD OF KOREA. ISBN 9781580893022
By Rebecca S, McKee