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Rumpelstiltskin (Children's and Household Tales #55)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  12,101 ratings  ·  407 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 Jou ...more
Paperback, 40 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Puffin Books (first published July 1st 1945)
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Nicole It's the reason I gave it 5 stars. They're stunning.…moreIt's the reason I gave it 5 stars. They're stunning.(less)

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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

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
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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Tara Smith
Category/Genre: Fairy Tale/Picture Book
Reading Level: 740L
Interest Level: K-3

Awards: Caldecott Honor 1987,ALA Notable Children's Books 1995

Description: One day, on his way town, a poor miller "bumps" into the king of the land. He decides to try to impress the king so he tells him he has a daughter that can spin straw into gold, which was a lie. The king orders the miller to bring the daughter to the castle where he locks her in a room with straw and orders her to spin it into straw by the mornin
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
Rumpelstiltskin by Paul O. Zelinsky

Paul Zelinsky portrayed Rumpelstiltskin as a weird creature far away from being human but trapped in magic. He was able to make gold from straw. A girl was threatened from the king to be death if she did not make gold from straw. Rumpelstiltskin went to help her and struck a bargain for his assistance. When the girl had nothing to give him in return, he asked her to give him her first baby born. How bad he was! She accepted. When the baby was born she refused t
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 version of the fairy tale stays true to the original story, but what makes it unique is the quality of the illustrations. They’re oil paintings, and very exquisite. They add so much dimension and richness that in my opinion, they really make the story although I do think the text tells an appealing story. The depiction of Rumpelstiltskin himself is the most impressive. The way he engages with the miller’s daughter is very realistic, and humanlike. I also think that the illustrations of the ...more
Rumpelstiltskin is the story of an old miller who tells the King that his daughter has the gift of spinning straw into gold. As the King hears such a marvelous art, he takes the miller’s daughter into his palace and locks her in a room to spin all the straw into gold. The poor miller’s daughter has not idea how the straw could be possibly be spun into gold, she feels so sad and starts crying. Suddenly, a small man comes to the rescue but he asks something in return. The first time she gives him ...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
You know how the story is going to go, but seeing it through Zelinsky's illustrations brings it to new life. His oils, choices of colors and costumes evoke the medieval setting and resonate with many Renaissance paintings - I found myself looking for the brittle and cracking paint. Thankfully for the daughter, the miller, who launches his daughter on her misadventure by bragging to the greedy king that his daughter who can spin gold from straw, never reappears to help her out further. The small ...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
Joey Zadina
Rumpelstiltskin: From the German of the Brothers Grimm is a fantastic picture book for children. In this book, the oil paintings provide a critical part to telling the story and are sure to be enjoyed by children listening during a read aloud. This story holds a special place in my heart because my senior play was the story of Rumpelstiltskin. It is an amazing story that can teach children lessons about tricking people and doing what is right. It is not right for Rumpelstiltskin to seek personal ...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
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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

Children's and Household Tales (1 - 10 of 60 books)
  • Cat and Mouse in Partnership
  • The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was
  • The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats: A Fairy Tale
  • The Adventures of Chanticleer and Partlet
  • Rapunzel
  • Hansel and Gretel
  • The White Snake
  • The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean
  • The Fisherman & His Wife
  • Seven at One Blow: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm
Rapunzel Hansel and Gretel The Wheels on the Bus 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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