Continuing with my fairy tale theme, this week we meet Rapunzel- who is a spunky red headed cowgirl who can lasso her hair like no one’s business!
We first meet Rapunzel as a preteen who lives in a lush villa with her mother and servants. She is adequately cared for but not coddled by her stern mother, but is plagued by a dream of being loved by another couple. As she starts to question why the walls are so high around her home, she uses the lassoing skills to climb up and explore what is beyond the boundaries of her home. Discovering a wasteland, she sneaks out and by chance meets her enslaved biological mother who explains how she came to live with the magical Mother Gothel. After confronting Gothel, Rapunzel is banished to another part of the kingdom and imprisoned in a tall tree.
Rapunzel is left to her own devices for several years, and while the mystical forest provides her with food, the spell also seems to affect the growth of her hair. Mother Gothel only visits her once a year to see if she repents, and in the mean time Rapunzel hones her skills of utilizing her long hair as a weapon. She escapes without any one’s assistance, and ends up meeting Jack, a young con man on the run. Their wild-west escapades together were fun and relatable, for not everything goes their way, despite them doing their best to help others they encounter. Rapunzel and Jack (of beanstalk fame) join in a traveling vaudeville show to camouflage their way back into the villa, and there they create chaos and challenge Mother Gothel and her evil ways.
The illustrations are fun and vibrant, and give Rapunzel a Pippi Longstocking vibe- which I love. The characters in the story are a diverse group, which was appreciated, and drawn well. This appealing fairy tale hews closely to the classic story, but adds enough extras to make it fun and different. Definitely recommended to younger readers!