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Ra Pu Zel and the Stinky Tofu

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On sale Jan 02, 2024 | 13 Minutes | 978-0-593-82483-2
Age 5-8 years | Grades K-3
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.


* This program includes a downloadable PDF that contains the Non-Stinky Pan-Fried Tofu recipe from the 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
Ying Chang Compestine grew up in China. She is the author of cookbooks for adults and of children's books that introduce Chinese culture and food, including The Real Story of Stone Soup. She lives with her family in California. View titles by Ying Chang Compestine

About

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.


* This program includes a downloadable PDF that contains the Non-Stinky Pan-Fried Tofu recipe from the book.

Reviews

"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

Author

Ying Chang Compestine grew up in China. She is the author of cookbooks for adults and of children's books that introduce Chinese culture and food, including The Real Story of Stone Soup. She lives with her family in California. View titles by Ying Chang Compestine