is all that hair really the point in 'Rapunzel'?

by Cameron Dokey – Simone & Schuster, 2006
perfect for teen readers 12 years and up / young adult

Fairytales are not just for kids - the Once Upon Time series is also great for older readers.

It's a collection of the most popular fairytales, published by Simon & Schuster and written by various authors. Each author chooses their fairytale and gives it their own unique and often quite unusual twist.

Golden: A Retelling of “Rapunzel” by Cameron Dokey is one of my favourites.

As with most retellings of Rapunzel, it all begins with a bargain between expectant parents and a sorceress. In this version, if the mother couldn’t love the newborn baby just as she was, then the sorceress would claim her.

And here's the fracture: the Rapunzel in this story is completely and totally bald!

She strode to the bedside, plucked me from my mother’s arms, and lifted me up into the light. Now the whole world, if it had cared to look, could see what had so horrified my unfortunate maternal parent.

I had no hair at all. Absolutely none.

There was not even the faintest suggestion of hair, the soft down fuzz that many infants possess at birth, visible only when someone does just what the sorceress was doing, holding me up to the light of the sun. I did have cheeks like shiny red apples, and eyes as dark as two jet buttons. None of this made one bit of difference to my mother. She could see only that I lacked her greatest treasure: I had no hair of gold. No hair of any kind. My head was a smooth as a hard-boiled egg. It was impossible for my mother to imagine that I might grow up to be beautiful, yet not like her. She had no room for this possibility in her heart.

And so the sorceress takes Rapunzel and raises her as her own. She raises her in love and kindness and hopes that Rapunzel will one day be able to help her break a horrible curse.

It’s a sweet story about recognising and valuing the different faces of love, unexpected friendship, and giving the kind of gift that can last through the ages.

A few other favourites in the series:

Retelling  The Arabian Nights

Retelling The Arabian Nights

Retelling  Snow White

Retelling Snow White

Retelling  The Princess and the Pea

Retelling The Princess and the Pea

More fractured fairytales here. And, along the ilk of Violet Eyes, you might like to check out The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas, it's a lot of fun!