fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm turns out to have at least as
many sources among literary tales as it does in folklore. Zelinsky
chose elements from various versions, both Grimm and earlier, to
compose this adaptation.
story of Rapunzel begins with a couple who, after many years
together, find that they are expecting a child. But
the wife is plagued by a craving for rapunzel, an herb that grows in
the walled garden of the sorceress next door.
To save his wife's life,
steals rapunzel from this garden, only to be caught in the act by the
angry sorceress. In return for sparing his life (and the rapunzel
she demands that the husband promise her the newborn child, whom she
will name Rapunzel.
There follows the well-known story of a long-haired girl kept in an inaccessible
tower, and a prince who finds her and wins her heart.
Kirkus Reviews called the art "grandly evocative, composed and
executed with superb technical and emotional command."
Book said, "Simply put, this is a gorgeous
book; it demonstrates respect for the traditions of painting
and the fairy tale while at the
same time adhering to a singular, wholly original, artistic vision."
Would you like to know what rapunzel the herb tastes like? (Its real English
name is "rampion," but for the purposes of the story, it is always
called by its German name, "rapunzel.")
You can order seeds for
a tasty rapunzel salad from Chiltern
Seeds in England.
Rampion seeds are extremely small, almost like grains
of sand, so they need to be planted carefully.
was the source of the rampion that Paul Zelinsky grew to help
make the paintings for this book;
another source for the seeds is Sand Mountain Herbs in Alabama.
The plant seems to vary greatly in taste and texture from source to source.
Read a page or two about some rampion/rapunzel that Paul ordered from Chiltern for a second time: how it grew,
and how some went to a Kindergarten with a fairy tale project.
Teachers might like to look at these
lesson plans prepared by Deborah Hallen (a.k.a. Mrs. Paul O. Zelinsky,
and a retired teacher with long experience in the New York City Public Schools).
you are in the USA and would like to order Rapunzel
an independent bookseller near you, .