How the Library (NOT the Prince) Saved Rapunzel by Wendy Meddour & Rebecca Ashdown

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Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2014.

This brilliant picture book is a modern day re-working of the traditional tale. Instead of a tower, Rapunzel lives on the sixteenth floor of a tower block. The lift is broken and, in turn, the milkman, the postman, the baker and an aunt call round and implore Rapunzel to let down her hair. She doesn’t respond; she just sits staring out of her window.

A smarmy, leather trouser-clad prince bearing roses and chocolates does turn up on his scooter but he’s dispensed with pretty quickly.

Eventually her earlier callers make the long trek up the sixteen flights of stairs to Rapunzel’s door. The postman hands over the letter and Rapunzel is delighted to discover that she’s got a new job at the library.

This is a turning point for Rapunzel. Her new role gives her purpose and a wealth of bedtime reading. Pretty soon she’s mastered the bassoon, chess and four foreign languages. She can knit, do cross-stitch and tell you the distance to the moon.

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I love the lively, vibrant illustrations especially Rapunzel’s magnificent pre-Raphaelite red hair. The book’s themes of female empowerment, being your own hero, and the power of books and reading are pretty tremendous too.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 4+

We borrowed this book from Birmingham Libraries.

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