PreS-Gr. 2. This fractured fairy tale twists Rapunzel to a fare-thee-well. Using a sprightly rhyme, Wilcox tells of a prince who spies the long-haired Rapunzel and immediately calls to her to throw down her hair. Alas, she's too far away to hear him clearly, and throws down her underwear instead. Every attempt to clarify the situation makes things worse: "'No Rapunzel, your curly locks.'" / Rapunzel threw down dirty socks." And so it goes until the prince asks Rapunzel to throw down her braid, and instead she manages to pitch down her maid--with whom the prince is quite taken. Then it's happily ever after, etc. Acrylic paint, colored pencil, and collage mix together in slapstick pictures that match the text in cheeky appeal. Of course, the story is funnier if children know the original tale, but even if they don't, this version takes on a bouncy life of its own. ((Reviewed December 1, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews
"Once upon a bad hair day,/ A prince rode up Rapunzel's way," opens Wilcox's debut book, offering a slight if agreeably silly take on the classic tale. In rhymed couplets of varying cleverness, the author relates a tale of miscommunication. The prince hears Rapunzel's whine (she is "upset her hair had lost its shine") and mistakes it for a plea (after which he "sallied forth to set her free"). The misunderstandings mount: when the royal asks her to throw down her hair, the heroine instead tosses him gaily colored underwear; a request for her "curly locks" brings a deluge of dirty socks; and hearing that he wants some twine, she heaves out her "blue-ribbon swine." Monks (The Cat Barked?) conveys the addled antics in whimsical art, rendered in an engaging mix of acrylic paint, collage and colored pencil. Among the kid-tickling images is a view of the stunned prince covered with pancake batter (which comes flying out of the tower when he asks if the lass has a ladder). Many youngsters may giggle at the wordplay (as well as the concluding twist), but the joke is pretty much a one-noter. Ages 4-9. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.