The classic tale of Rapunzel is told in beautiful illustrations by the people at iStoryBooks.co. This is slightly different that the version that most people will recognize from popular animated films. It is the real version, which many families may not know well. Like all stories for children, it is a good idea to know the story before sharing it with children and this is one story that is good to preview because of the witch and her evil ways.
The Happy, Expecting Couple and the Evil Witch
The story begins with a happy couple expecting a baby. The couple lived near a house that we later learn is owned by a witch. On her home, a special lettuce grows and the pregnant woman craves that lettuce. She actually become ill and the lettuce is the only thing that cures her. So, she begs her husband to steal the lettuce. He does so for a few nights until the witch catches him. She requires him to give her something in exchange for the special lettuce. She tricks him into giving up the new baby after it is born. So, as soon as the baby girl is born, the witch takes her away and moves to a new village.
Questions Children Might Ask
Children might wonder why the husband does not simply ask for lettuce the first time that his wife asks for it. They will also wonder why the witch needs to take the baby, just for lettuce. The husband thinks about how the lettuce will be able to help his wife so she does not die. This could be a disturbing section of the story for children who are sensitive about bad things happening to children.
Rapunzel is a Beauty and the Witch is Jealous
The baby girl is named Rapunzel and she grows up to be very beautiful. Like most stories with witches and beautiful women, the witch becomes jealous of the beauty and hides her from the world. In this story, Rapunzel is locked in a tower. Every time that the witch wants to visit with Rapunzel, she asks Rapunzel to lower her extremely long hair so the witch can use it as a ladder.
The Prince Sees Rapunzel in the Tower
While Rapunzel is in the tower, she sings. Eventually, a handsome prince hears her enchanting voice and begins to watch her from the nearby woods. He sees the witch use Rapunzel’s hair to climb the tower, so he does the same. He visits Rapunzel each day, until the witch sees the silk that the prince left for Rapunzel. The silk was for her to weave a ladder for herself. The witch then cuts off Rapunzel’s hair and in her anger she banishes Rapunzel to the forest.
The Witch Continues her Horrible Ways
Eventually, the prince shows up to see Rapunzel. He asks her to lower her hair and the hair is lowered, but at the top of the tower, the witch is holding the long braid. She then lets go of the braid after the prince climbed to the top, so he falls into a patch of briars and is blinded. Once he gets up from the briar, he wanders around the forest. After weeks of wandering, he hears a lovely voice. He calls out for Rapunzel who then comes to him. As she cries for joy, her tears land on his eyes, reversing his blindness. Then, like all good fairy tales, the prince and Rapunzel get married and live together happily ever after – and even her birth parents are at the wedding.
While this story is a lovely story about a special couple finding happiness together, there are still unanswered questions. Nothing happens to the witch after she is so cruel to the prince, Rapunzel, and her parents. Children might be surprised about the miraculous way that the prince regains his sight.
Fairy Tale Lessons and Real Life
The lesson in the Rapunzel from iStoryBooks.co is revealed on the last page. Children are supposed to learn that true love can create miracles and that there are always reasons to sing. Many children will have difficulty believing these lessons, especially the one about miracles. Instead, the story is about a kidnapped girl and the man who rescued her. Children will recognize that the bad guy (the witch) gets away in the end. It is too bad that the witch does not receive any punishment for her wrongdoings; because without her evil nature, no one would have any problems at all.