Author & Illustrator: Bethan Woollvin
Publisher: Peachtree Publishing
“But where is the prince,” my son asked at the end of the story. “There isn’t one,” we answered. And so began the discussion at the end of Woolvin’s Rapunzel, an empowering take on the traditional damsel in distress story we’ve all heard (and told) over the years. In this Rapunzel, Rapunzel doesn’t need saving. She figures everything out, all on her own.
The conversation that ensued was interesting. We were sure we were raising an enlightened six-year-old boy. He was still convinced however, that the story that had been previously ingrained in his head, needed a prince. Disney’s Tangled (better, but not quite perfect) notwithstanding, we explained that this Rapunzel had figured things out on her own, and didn’t need anybody to help her.
We went through the story again, explaining the steps Rapunzel took to get out of the tower and to liberate herself from the mean witch. He seemed more convinced now. Woollvin has put together an engaging, self-contained, sparse (but imaginative and beautifully illustrated) narrative that deftly guides the reader. This Rapunzel is a fierce, freedom-fighting girl. Witches everywhere need to be worried!
As for our son, he’s coming along–with the help of his Dads, and books like this one. Counter-programming can be tough.
Rapunzel (Support an Independent Bookstore)*
My thanks to Chronicle Books for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.
More books for this Age Group can be found here.
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