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Rumpelstiltskin (Well-Loved Tales)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  11,170 ratings  ·  377 reviews
Richly hued oil paintings complement a story simply and gracefully told. " the story for its mystery, and its familiarity. Adults will find that, like most classic fairy tales, this one rewards periodic rethinking." --New York Times Book Review "Zelinsky's smooth retelling and glowing pictures cast the story in a new and beautiful light." -- School Library J ...more
Paperback, 40 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Puffin (first published July 1st 1945)
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This version of “Rumpelstiltskin” is a new version of the classic Brothers Grimm tale that is rewritten by Paul O. Zelinsky and has won the prestigious Caldecott Honor award. Everyone who knows the story of “Rumpelstiltskin” knows that this book is about how a small man helps a miller’s daughter with her predicament, but the small man wants a heavy price for his services. “Rumpelstiltskin” may be a bit too scary for younger children, but older children will definitely enjoy this version of the c ...more
Morgan Renae
I quite liked this! Rumpelstiltskin is my 2nd favorite fairy tale (East of the Sun, West of the Moon being my top favorite), and I thought the story was perfectly complimented by Paul O. Zelinsky's illustrations! I loooove the renaissance style.

I also love this picture (the miller's daughter is trying to think of Rumpelstiltskin's name, and she just has this look of pure frustration):

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When a miller convinces the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold, the king seizes the opportunity and captures her. Every evening a little man saves her by magically spinning the gold and getting jewelry in return, and by morning the king is satisfied and let her live. The third night she has nothing left to give, and he wants her unborn child in return for helping her. In her miserable state, she accepts, and when the time comes, she obviously doesn't want to give away her child. He
The Renaissance-style oil paintings in this book were amazing; they really made the story. Brilliant colors, interesting perspectives, expressive faces, and evocative historic details of architecture and clothes. The text is true to the Grimm version but kind of boring, so the paintings were crucial to give the story sparkle. Logan, who is almost 7, has asked me many questions since about the nature of Rumplestiltskin: Was he evil? Was he a witch (due to flying on a wooden spoon)? Why did he wan ...more
Zelinsky's retelling of Rumpelstiltskin is well written. The story is paced and phrased in a way that pulls you through the pages even if you know the basic plot of the story. The illustrations are amazing and remind my of Renaissance paintings. They are technically beautiful and filled with amazing detail.

I would use Zelinsky's version to teach the story since it is clear and well told. I would also use his illustrations to showcase artistic skills and for art criticism lessons.

In this versio
Asa Jacobs
This story is about girl whose father had promised the king she could spin straw into gold. The king locked her in a room with straw and told her, "If you turn this straw into gold, you can keep your life." The girl didn't know what to do. Suddenly an little man appeared and spun the straw into gold in exchange for her necklace. The king kept wanting her to spin more and more straw into gold and the girl kept making deals with the little man. For spinning a room full of straw the girl agreed to ...more
Anna Stover
I have loved the Zelinskis' lovely renditions of Rumpelstiltskin and Rapunzel since childhood. The period detail of the renaissance world presents the fairy tales in an environment that feels natural to them, as if in the Renaissance world there really were little men able to spin straw into gold. I had the attention of every kid in the room (3rd and 4th graders) as I read. Perhaps because of the realistic, painterly illustrations, the students experienced some confusion about the extent to whic ...more
Paul Zelinsky retells and illustrates the famed Grimm tale of Rumpelstiltskin in this Caldecott Honor book. In an effort to impress the king, the poor and foolish miller claims his daughter "knows the art of spinning straw into gold." Tempted by greed and intrigue, the king leads the girl to a room filled with straw and tells her she must spin gold by morning or she will die. Distraught, the girl makes a deal with a tiny man, offering him her jewelry, and ultimately, her first born in exchange f ...more
This traditional version of Rumpelstiltskin has detailed illustrations that help you walk through the fantasy world where straw can be spun into gold by a little magical man. A miller, wanting to impress a king, tells him that his daughter can spin straw into gold. Being greedy, the king takes the miller's daughter and locks her into a room with straw. If she doesn't spin the straw into gold, he will kill her. Rumpelstiltskin finds the miller's daughter and helps her the first night for her neck ...more
John Yelverton
I read this story as a child, and I really loved it.
NSAndrew Liebergen
Paul O. Zelinsky, 1998 Caldecott medalist for Rapunzel, also has three Caldecott Honor Books under his belt: Hansel and Gretel, Swamp Angel, and this fine edition of Rumpelstiltskin. Zelinsky's oil paintings are perfectly suited to the strange saga of the little man with the secret name who knows how to spin straw into gold. The golden light infusing the late medieval setting subtly reinforces the theme.
The visual characterization of Rumpelstiltskin is a triumph: an odd elfin man with bulbous ey
Shanna Gonzalez
Zelinsky has done it again with his marvelous rendition of this classic fairy tale. His finely-detailed paintings capture the mood and marvel of this suspenseful story, in which a vulnerable young woman is three times required to accomplish the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, and she promises her firstborn to the gnome who offers to complete the task for her. When she has been made queen because of this feat he comes to collect his payment, and she must solve his impossible riddle t ...more
Casey Strauss
Rumpelstiltskin is a picture book written and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. It is a retelling of the Grimm fairy tale. The end notes at the back of the book explain that several different versions were used to compile this particular retelling. This picture book was the recipient of the 1987 Caldecott Honor, as well as several other awards. In this fairy tale, a foolish miller promises the king that his daughter is able to take straw and spin it into gold, in hopes of impressing him. The gree ...more
This is a beautifully illustrated and written book, with a lengthy afterword explaining how, exactly, this version came to be written.

Many people do not realize this, but even the most familiar fairy tale has always had equally venerable variations. In this story of Rumpelstiltskin, the little man flies off on a wooden spoon at the end of the story. People more used to the "stamps through the floor" version may be somewhat disappointed, but this is not an innovation, it is equally traditional.

In a Caldecott-winning picture book of the traditional story Rumpelstiltskin, Paul Zelinsky is both illustrator and storyteller in this piece that holds true to the classic German piece published by the Brothers Grimm. The illustrations are beautiful--very detailed and rich with color and texture. Rumpelstiltskin's character is slightly creepy looking for a younger audience, but he may appear as a bit more entertaining for an older reader. What struck me most about this book is "A Note on the Te ...more
Nicola Devine
The story begins with a greedy miller who sees the king riding through the countryside and wanting to impress the king, he boasts that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The king has the miller's daughter brought to the castle and locked in a room, from where she it told she must spin the straw into gold or she will die. The miller's daughter does not know what to do until a little man, who goes by the name Rumpelstiltskin, appears and offers her help for a gift in return. The first two time ...more
Beverly Kennett
Zelinsky's version of this story won a Caldecott honor and is a Reading Rainbow book. Zelinsky both retold and illustrated this version. The story consists of a miller who boasts to the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The greedy king decides to marry her if indeed she can perform this feat. He imprisons her to perform the task. A little man enters as she's crying and offers to help for a fee. She pays him her necklace and he begins to spin the straw into gold thread. When the gi ...more
Jonathan Dowell
"Rumpelstiltskin: From the German of the Brothers Grimm" by Paul O. Zelinsky portrays the classic title tale. The story varies little from the original, but the illustrations are definitely worth noting. Many of the illustrations are wonderfully detailed, and are reminiscent of renaissance era artists like Jan Vermeer. These illustrations thrust the reader into this era, and gives the story some context. The illustrations alternate between bordered and full bleed but all are lively enough so as ...more
The author Paul O. Zelinsky, has a strong conenction to the story of Rumplestiltskin dating back to his childhood when he played the character in a play version of the popular fairy tale. He also illustrated the book in a Renaissance style, using oil paints over watercolor underpaintings. This effect resulted in vivid illustrations. Not only did this book win the Caldecott Honor in 1987 but it went on to be honored with numerous other awards. This version has been translated into 12 other langua ...more
Niamh Ryan
This is a fantastic book about a millers daughter who is asked to spin straw into gold before the morning or she will die. She is undoubtedly helped by a strange man who she exchanges her possesions with for his help in return. She is later made Queen and forgets that the condition of the last promise was to hand over her first born child. When the man returns she has three days to guess his name and all will be forgotten about. It is a classic tale with an element of suspense throughout which w ...more
NS - Cami Houston
This version could serve 6-8th, and Oh! I was a child again as I re-read this version of such a timeless tale! This edition, a beautiful hardback with oil paintings that invite you inside as you read! You can take a journey through the picture before, during, and after reading the text. A tale of how the miller's daughter turned from the unluckiest to the luckiest girl in the whole land! Locked away at first to spin straw into gold, and then allowed to marry the greedy king, she would need to pr ...more
I'll never look at the Rumpelstiltskin story in quite the same way since reading The Rumpelstiltskin Problem by Vivian Vande Velde. In spite of that, I thought Zelinsky did a really nice job of telling a quite traditional version of Rumpelstiltskin. As expected, his illustrations are completely gorgeous with meticulous details. I especially liked how he handled the shininess of the gold. Zelinsky also includes an author note giving a bit of history on the Rumpelstiltskin story.
Back in those school days, years ago, we received books from school library when I was an absolute sucker for fairy-tales. But I guess, I am still the same as I still going back to this story every time that I can. Read it first time then and never returned the book and faked lost at school. Fined for losing school property but was happy yet. The book was so mesmerizing with lovely pictures in vibrant colors. But, more than that the story was beautiful. Don't remember how many times I must have ...more
Chris Fox
Paul O. Zelinsky
(Children's Books with strong plots)

Rumpelstiltskin is a classic children's book retold in exquisite for by Paul Zelinsky. The plot in this book is mainly between the main character and another character. The main character in this tale is a miller's daughter who wants to marry the king in order to become queen. The character she finds herself battling in this plot is a strange little man with a name that nobody knows. The reader knows his name from the beginning o
Ashley Stude
"Rumpelstilskin" was probably one of the strangest children books I have ever read, probably due to the fact that it was written such a long time ago. I guess "strange" isn't the correct term, it was just definitely a different kind of book compared to more modern children's books, which just goes to show how much literature has changed over the years. Anyways, this book starts out with a Miller who is boasting about his daughter and claims she can spin straw into gold.The word travels, and even ...more
Aaron Siclovan
A king passionate for gold forces a miller's daughter to spin the straw into gold because of the miller's words. A little man helps her to execute the kings orders in exchange of her firstborn, if she is not going to find out his name. Becoming a queen, to her order a servant went in the woods and found his name being Rumpelstiltskin. At the time he heard his name, he jumped on the cooking spoon and flew out the window; so the queen lived free and happy with the king and their child for the rest ...more
Victoria Leininger-halpern
This is one of the most visually stunning children's books one could read, along with being a classic fairy-tale story. A poor miller's daughter is taken to the palace is taken to the castle for her "ability" to spin straw into gold, at the expense of her possible death if she can not deliver. Locked in a room full of straw, she is at a loss for what to do, until she receives help of a peculiar little man, in exchange for something that could destroy her.

While this story subject is fairly dark
John Sperry
Rumpelstiltskin is the story of a miller's daughter who is forced to try and spin hay into gold by a king because her father boasted she could do so. A dwarf appears three times and assists her in this feat by takes something for his services each time. The last time he promises to take her first born son and the girl begrudgingly agrees as she has nothing else to bargain. Many years later the girl is now a queen and has a son. The little man appears and agrees to give the queen three days to gu ...more
Van Phan
The classic version of Rapunzel has been retold in a unique way by Zelinsky and his oil painting art. The storyline are a little similar but everything from the settings, character, and theme had changed. The Rapunzel in this book does not go by the name Rapunzel. Her name was not mentioned at all in the book; instead she goes by the Miller's daughter. The girl hair was not even blond or long like other Rapunzel’s stories would have. The girl had shoulder length black hair. The only thing that w ...more
Edward Lee
There was a poor miller with a beautiful daughter who had a skill to spin straw to gold. When the father met the king, he told him of his daughters skill and the king told the miller to send his daughter to the castle at once. She was locked into a room of straw with the threat of death if she couldn't spin this straw to gold. A small man entered the room, and at once once offered her necklace, he spooled the straw into gold through the night, and the king, well he wanted more. She was led into ...more
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Born 1953

Paul O. Zelinsky grew up in Wilmette, Illinois, the son of a mathematics professor and a medical illustrator. He drew compulsively from an early age, but did not know until college that this would be his career. As a Sophomore in Yale College he enrolled in a course on the history and practice of the picture book, co-taught by an English professor and Maurice Sendak. This experience inspi
More about Paul O. Zelinsky...

Other Books in the Series

Well-Loved Tales (6 books)
  • Dick Whittington And His Cat (Well Loved Tales)
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • The Big Pancake (Well-Loved Tales)
  • The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats: A Fairy Tale
Rapunzel The Wheels on the Bus Hansel and Gretel Knick Knack Paddywhack (New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books (Awards)) The Maid And The Mouse And The Odd Shaped House:  A Story In Rhyme (A Puffin Unicorn)

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