A playful, feminist retelling of Rapunzel with a Chinese-cuisine twist
The story of Rapunzel where she’s being locked in a tower by a witch is a good one—but it’s not totally the truth.
The real story is about a young princess in China named Ra Pu Zel who doesn’t want to talk to princes or look proper. What Pu Zel wants is to cook and eat in peace, her long hair neatly braided to keep it out of her food. And when she gets tired of everyone telling her what to do, she locks herself in a tower with her dog Bao. Although princes from everywhere try to convince her to come down, it’s not until a young chef arrives with an intriguing food to share that Ra Pu Zel finally has a reason.
About the Author
Ying Chang Compestine is an award-winning author, speaker, and television host. She has written twenty-five books for adults and children, including the acclaimed novel Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party, which chronicles her experience of growing up in China during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. A leading national authority on Asian culture and cuisine and the former food editor for Martha Stewart’s Whole Living magazine, Ying is frequently invited to lecture at schools and organizations around the world. She currently lives in the Bay Area with her husband and son.
Crystal Kung is an artist from Taiwan. She has BFAs from Shih Chien University and the California Institute of the Arts, and works as a character designer at Pixar Animation Studios. She lives in the San Francisco area. This is her first book.
"Kung’s digital artwork is reminiscent of Chinese watercolor paintings, though with a modern sensibility and cinematic eye. The colorful, expressively detailed depictions of the princess’ attempts to conform to expectations are a hoot, and her joy in being her best self in her tower is palpable." —Kirkus Review
"Kung’s digital illustrations, which seamlessly merge traditional Chinese styles of art and architecture with dynamic Pixar design sensibilities, are well-suited for Pu Zel’s sumptuous tables and bold personality. Brimming with a love for both food and spunky girls who love food, this warm,inviting read will easily sate readers’ appetites; tofu recipes are included in the back matter for aspiring chefs." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Affectionately told and vibrantly illustrated, this empowering “Rapunzel” retelling, set in long ago China, features a determined princess in charge of her own fate. Kung’s richly hued scenes shimmer with golden-hour light and communicate the protagonist’s spunk through facial expressions and gestures that, combined with Compestine’s well-paced story, makes for a tale that dishes up delight." —Publishers Weekly
"Kung’s vibrant depictions create a cozy background for this retelling of how stinky tofu became one ofthe most famous dishes across Asia. Kung’s dynamic illustrations take a comic approach, with close-ups o fRa Pu Zel munching and cinematic scenes of the setting that will engage readers already familiar with graphic novels. This creative retelling of “Rapunzel,” that combines feminism, fairy tales, and food, will be enjoyed by all." —School Library Journal