Showing posts with label Rapunzel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rapunzel. Show all posts

Hamster Princess: Ratpunzel -- Book Review & Craft

Disclosure: Penguin Random House Books gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

I am so excited to share with you the third book in the Hamster Princess series!! Hazel and I fell in love with these books and shared the first two with you previously. These are books Hazel could read by herself but I read them to her the first time so I can enjoy them as well. Each one is themed around a classic fairy tale. The third book is Hamster Princess: Ratpunzel by Ursula Vernon and is based around the story of Rapunzel.  

Fairy Tales that Teach Hygiene: Book Reviews

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge from Quarto Books USA. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

I have not done one of my Fairy Tales in Different Cultures posts recently and these books are not really from a different culture as much as have a different twist than the traditional fairy tales. They are fun and have important lessons in them. There is actually a series of them called Fairytales Gone Wrong at Quarto Books. Each has an important lesson about hygiene or healthy habits. Since my focus has been on Cinderella and Rapunzel mostly, I asked to review those two. 

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures: Petrosinella: A Neopolitan Rapunzel

Today we are going to discuss Petrosinella: A Neopolitan Rapunzel. It is the earliest version of a written Rapunzel story. I found two versions of the book at the library. Both are illustrated by Diane Stanley. One has Diane Stanley listed as the author and the other has Giambattista Basile, who is the original author. 

The stories are basically the same and are the same as the traditional story. The main difference being that the mother, named Pascadozzia in the Basile version, craved parsley and took it from her neighbor's garden. The neighbor was an ogress. She made the mother promise to give her unborn child to her. The child was born with a sprig of parsley in her hand in Basile's version and thus she was named Petrosinella which means parsley. Once Petrosinella was seven she began school and walked by the ogress' house. The ogress talked to her every day and told her to remind her mother of her promise. Finally the mother told Petrosinella to answer her with "Take it." The ogress took Petrosinella and locked her in the tower. One time with the ogress was out, Petrosinella put her hair down as she stuck her head out the little window. A prince who was returning to his parents' kingdom happened by and noticed the beautiful face and climbed up the hair. They talked and fell in love. He began to visit often at night while the ogress slept. He begged Petrsoinella to leave with him, but she refused even though she did not know why she refused. One day another ogress spotted the prince visiting Petrosinella and told her stepmother ogress. The stepmother ogress said she would put an end to the visits and that Petrosinella could never leave because she had a spell on her and needed the three acorns which were hidden in the rafters in the kitchen to break it. Petrosinella was listening so when the prince came that night she told him about the acorns and they searched and found them and left. However the ogress's friend saw them and made such noise that she woke the ogress. She quickly chased them. Sure they were going to be caught Petrosinella remembered the acorns and threw one onto the ground. A vicious dog appeared and went after the ogress. She however came prepared with bread. She continued her chase. The next acorn turned into a lion. The ogress found a mule skin to wear and tricked the lion. The third acorn became a wolf and the wolf ate her before she had a chance to trick it. The prince and Petrosinella were married and lived happily. In Stanley's version Petrosinella's mother was sent for the wedding. 

According to the information presented in Stanley's book,  Giambattista Basile published the original version of the story in 1637. It was in Neopolitan and it was hard to translate into English without a dictionary, but several versions were translated. She used a version by John Edward Taylor from 1847 and N.M. Penzer from 1932. For a full text version of the story on-line, visit SurLaLune Fairy Tales.

According to John K. Davis on this website there is also a connection to the legend of Saint Barbara. Saint Barbara was locked in a tower by her father to make sure she did not have an unworthy suitor. While he was away on business Barbara became to learn about the teachings of Christ and became a Christian. When her father returned and discovered this, he took her the Roman pro-consul who ordered her father to behead her. After beheading her, her father was struck down by lightning and consumed by fire.

The craft I shared is one Hazel and I made back in 2012. It is a toy of Rapunzel's tower and I shared it back in May 2012.

For more Rapunzel stories and other fairy tales, check out:

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures: Sugar Cane: A Caribbean Rapunzel

Have you  missed our Fairy Tales in Different Cultures lately? Sorry. My life got so crazy I had trouble getting the posts done. However in honor of "visiting" Jamaica this month with Around the World in 12 Dishes, I thought I would jump to a Rapunzel story and share Sugar Cane: A Caribbean Rapunzel by Patricia Storace. Since Jamaica is in the Caribbean, it seemed fitting. We have already looked at Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci last February. First a bit about the Caribbean. (A Side Note: I will not be featuring a fairy tale next week, but instead will feature some multicultural Christmas books to check out.)

CIA map of the Caribbean
Source: By U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) 
[Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Caribbean consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and surrounding coasts. The Caribbean islands are considered a subregion of  North America. The island countries in the Caribbean include Anguilla, Antigua-and-Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Kitts-and-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent-and-the-Grenadines, Trinidad-and-Tobago, Turks-and-Caicos Islands, and United States Virgin Islands. (Source) There are thousands of islands in the Caribbean. The islands have a tropical climate.

St. Croix
Before European contact it was estimated that there was 750,000 inhabitants. Due to disease and social contact, the numbers declined. The population rose as slaves from Africa were brought in. The Caribbean is now a mix of mostly Spanish, French and Dutch-Caribbeans as well as the descendents from the slaves of Africa and Ireland. Since so many different countries are in the Caribbean the population is diverse.

Now onto our story!  This story is begins with a fisherman and his wife on an island in the Caribbean. The wife announces that she is pregnant. Then a few days later she begins craving sugar cane. The husband tries to bring her other sweet things since sugar cane is only available in the center of the island and not near the beach, but she insists on sugar cane. Finally he agrees to get her some. He walks a long way and stops for lunch and a nap in a forest. When he awakes he finds a path to a beautiful coral house with a large garden with every plant that grows on the island in it. He knocks on the door, but no one answers. He decides to take a few sugar cane. His wife is ecstatic to get it, but her cravings continue. He goes back and finds the house again and knocks again. No one answers so he takes a few more canes, but this time he is caught and the sugar cane grow around him like a jail. A masked woman comes and she is a famous sorceress named Madame Fate. She tells him that she will take sugar cane from him since he took sugar cane from her. She already knew the baby would be a girl and named Sugar Cane. She tells him she will come for the baby on her first birthday.

Caña de Azucar
Source: By Cmales (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], 
via Wikimedia Commons

The fisherman tried to hide his family on Sugar Cane's first birthday, but Madame Fate found them and took Sugar Cane. The parents searched for Madame Fate's house, but they never found it again. Madame Fate took Sugar Cane to the rocky coast and put her in a tower overlooking the sea. Sugar Cane was given a pet green monkey named Callaloo for company.Sugar Cane grew more beautiful every day. When Madame Fate came to visit she would Sugar Cane to let down her hair. Madame Fate educated Sugar Cane by bringing people back from the dead to teach her. An angel from the heavenly choir taught her to sing. As much as Sugar Cane appreciated her spirit teachers and her monkey, she longed for human company. At night she would stand at her window and sing.

One night a fisherman called "King" heard Sugar Cane singing. Now "King" got his name because he was the King of Song. When he heard Sugar Cane's voice singing words to a song he was making up in his head, he looked up and saw the girl. Just then Madame Fate came to visit. He saw her climb up Sugar Cane's hair. He stayed on his boat and watched Madame Fate leave. He went to investigate the tower and found there was no other way in besides the girl's hair. He chanted the song he heard Madame Fate sing to get the hair and climbed up. Sugar Cane was startled when she saw King. King was very polite and she was excited to meet someone new and someone so handsome. Sugar Cane and King began to play and sing music together. Soon the morning came and Sugar Cane told King he had to leave. He promised to come again. He kept coming and started to bring her jewels. Sugar Cane began to weave a ladder from her hair strands. She would work on it on the nights King did not visit her. She knew she wanted to leave the tower and marry King. 

Jamaica sunrise
Jamaican Sunrise Source: By Adam L. Clevenger (Own work)
[CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Madame Fate noticed Sugar Cane's joy and became suspicious. She started to make surprise visits to Sugar Cane. One night she brought Sugar Cane a dress and found one of the jewels from King. She became so angry hearing about King, Madame Fate cut Sugar Cane's hair and threw it out the window. Then Madame Fate locked Sugar Cane in her room. Sugar Cane rushed to get out her ladder and escape from Madame Fate and her fury. When she and Callaloo got the bottom she did not know where to go. She did not see King's boat. Callaloo had grabbed some of the jewels before leaving and he hoped these would save them. One of the things he grabbed was the coral necklace her mother had made her for her first birthday. It no longer fit her neck, but she put it on her wrist. Then they heard Madame Fate chant and the ocean opened like a tiger's mouth. Sure they were going to be pulled to the bottom of the sea, they tried to run, but the next thing they knew they were carried on a large wave to the capital city. Sugar Cane was lost and did not know where to go. She searched for King and King searched for her. Months later King found her. They were married shortly after. During their first dance, a woman in the crowd recognized the bracelet on Sugar Cane's wrist as the necklace she made for her lost daughter's first birthday. Sugar Cane was reunited with her parents and the dancing continued and continued. 

One of the things I liked about reading this version is it does talk about some of the life in the Caribbean. The story describes the nets they sleep under and black cake. It definitely gives you a feel for life in the Caribbean.