Yee haw! Shannon Hale and her hubby Dean have taken the tired old princess-in-a-tower-tale and re-imagined Rapunzel as a rootin’ tootin’ cowgirl, complete with scarlet lassoin’ braids, and a sassy sidekick named Jack (yeah, he of the magic bean fame). As in the original, Rapunzel is taken as an infant from her mother by a wicked witch in payment for some stolen…lettuce (for those of you not in the know, “rapunzel” is actually a salad green) and raised in isolation. But instead of sitting helplessly in a tower, she uses her mile-long braids to escape the tall tree-prison fashioned by said wicked witch Mother Gothel, and goes in search of her real mom, who has been forced to slave away in Gothel’s brutal mining camp. On the way she befriends huckster Jack, rescues a ransomed youngster, drives a pack of wild coyotes across the border, and wrestles a giant rattlesnake to death. This fearless ‘Punzie is more Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett than lovelorn Lady of Shallot, and ten times as fun! Hale & Hale’s brilliant cowgirl creation is brought to vivid, full-color life by Nathan Hale’s (no relation) rich illustrations, which resemble a grittier William Joyce. I haven’t had so much fun since Bloody Jack came to town! A must-read graphic novel for all ages.