cover image Rapunzel


David Vozar. Doubleday Books for Young Readers, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-385-32314-7

Despite a thick spray of puns and allusions, this fairy-tale parody delivered in rap--the hair apparent to Vozar and Lewin's Yo, Hungry Wolf!--disappoints with its inconsistent text. Dogs have the day: Lewin's fittingly hyperbolic cartoons depict the heroine as an unspecified white pooch with flowing golden tresses, while Prince Fine, her suitor, sports a lime-green mohawk and tattoos along with his gray-and-white coat. Rapunzel, aka Rap, complains all day, ""for a TV and radio./ She whined to have pizza made to go""; she is obsessed with styling her hair and tending her fingernails--the worst sort of princess. Prince Fine becomes the narrator midway through with an abrupt shift from third- to first-person: ""The witch climbed down the stunning girl's locks/ As I was jogging right down her block./ They call me Fine Prince. Everyone loves me./ There's no one who rises above me."" But the livelier scenarios show flashes of wit: the prince, after waiting all day for his beloved to finish blow-drying her locks, discovers that she has teased her mane ""in a new def style"" that reaches for the sky, leaving him no way to reach her. But in the end, like the hair of the newly shorn heroine, the rap comes up short. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)