Rapunzel’s Revenge by Hale, Shannon, Dean Hale and Nathan Hale. New York: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children’s Books, 2008. 144 pages.
1. A succinct evaluative annotation. Plot: [Conflict] Rapunzel, as a little girl, goes beyond the huge stone wall that surrounds her house (a grand villa) with her mother, Gothel. However, Rapunzel finds out that Gothel stole Rapunzel from her real mother and took all of the green from the county, making Gothel have the power to force everyone else to do her bidding. [Rising Action] Rapunzel doesn’t like what Gothel did and went against her, making Rapunzel get locked away in a tower. Her hair grew extremely long and she was able to escape, planning to stop Gothel from using magic to keep trees and other natural plants from growing. [Climax] Rapunzel meets Jack and they have to travel a long journey to get to Gothel, meeting challenges along the way. They get to Gothel’s villa and crash a party. [Falling Action] Rapunzel finds the source of Gothel’s magic, breaks it, restores the land surrounding the villa, and saves the county. [Resolution] Rapunzel is reunited with her mother and thinks about going on another adventure with Jack, who she falls in love with. Theme: The themes in this novel include adventure, magic, family, making new friends, righting wrongs that occurred, and “saving the day”. Tone: The tone of this novel is very humorous and fictional. The adventure Rapunzel and Jack have include many tales that show Rapunzel as the hero and learning how to lasso her hair to stop the bad guys. Style: The authors’ writing style is a lot of dialogue and a story telling quality. The illustrations were very colorful, pointing out the events that were the most important on every page. Characterizations: Rapunzel is a fighter. She learns to stand up for herself and she goes after what she wants: to stop Gothel from using magic to take away the plants and grass. Jack is a character – he is humorous and funny, making jokes all the way through their journey, but he is also serious at times, talking about his troubles and how he needs to fix them. Readability: This novel was very easy to read. I flew through it very quickly and enjoyed every dialogue and narration – a younger reader could definitely read this on their own.
2. My reactions to the book. I really enjoyed this book. I have always liked the story of Rapunzel since I was little, and this story definitely had a twist to the original story. One of the biggest strengths of this book was the illustrations. The artist really did a great job with drawing the story and drawing the explicit detail of every page. I also liked how the authors changed the story a bit – Rapunzel isn’t a blonde haired princess locked away by the evil lady, but was forced into exile when she didn’t like the cruelty her “mother” treated everyone else in the town. Because the story included Jack and the Beanstalk, the goose who laid the golden egg, and many differences that were not in the original Rapunzel story, the accuracy is not the best. However, this is a cartoon story, a make believe story, so anything can change!
3. Comment on the cover art. The cover art is great. It captures the attention of the reader because Rapunzel has red hair, she’s dressed in pants, and is lassoing her hair – definitely not the true Rapunzel story. Because of all these details, the viewer will want to know why Rapunzel is so different and who the young boy in the background is. Very original and will definitely draw attention to many viewers at a library or book store.