Rapunzel’s days are pretty grim. She is confined to a tower by an evil sorceress, the highlight of each day being a visit from the witch. Each day the witch would ask Rapunzel to unfurl her hair down the side of the tower so that she could use it to climb up and each day Rapunzel would duly oblige. The witch would then chop off locks of Rapunzel’s golden hair to sell for a profit. Being quite a clever and resourceful girl, Rapunzel realised that she could use her own hair too and so set about coming up with a plan to put an end to the witch once and for all…
You won’t find a prince in this story. This is all about one clever girl solving her own problem and doing things her way. It is a big dose of girl-power and smacks of can do attitude. Bethan Woollvin’s re-telling of the traditional tale is witty and wicked. She tears up the fairy-tale stereotypes; there are no dramatic rescues, kisses of everlasting love or knights riding in on horseback, and I absolutely love it.
The story is told in short and simple sentences and Woollvin’s use of a simple colour palette of yellow, black and grey has the bold illustrations leaping off the pages. There is so much humour in the pages - Rapunzel reading a book titled ‘How to Defeat Witches’, and standing in the tower innocently hiding the scissors behind her back are two of my favourites.
Bethan Woollvin has done it again with another bold and brilliant re-working of the traditional tale. This is fairy-tale storytelling for the twenty-first century and young readers (and adults) will absolutely love it.
Recommended for 5+.