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Rumpelstiltskin (Well-Loved Tales)

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  9,000 ratings  ·  328 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

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...more
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...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...more
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
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
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
Rebecca Tenbrook
I have always loved the book Rumpelstiltskin and I still do very much enjoy that book. I can remember as an elementary student checking this very same book from the library and reading it over and over again. Now if you don't know the story of Rumpelstiltskin I suggest you go check this book out and read it! It is another Grimm fairy tale that comes from Germany. With the knowledge I now have of traditional tales as I read I saw many aspects of this book that truly made it a "fairy tale". I woul...more
Courtney Dyer
Rumpelstiltskin is a Caldecott Honor book by master illustrator and storyteller Paul O. Zelinsky. He rewrote his own version of Grimm’s favorite tale and paired it with the beautiful Italian Renaissance styled oil paintings that he is known for, cast with rich, vibrant tones.

One day a poor miller declares to a king that his daughter can spin gold from straw. The king was intrigued and orders for the miller’s daughter to turn the castle’s straw to gold or be put to death. A tiny man helps out the...more
Megan Laird
This classic fairytale retold and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky is a good fairytale story for younger children. After her father had lied and told the king she had secret talents of turning straw into gold, the King ordered her for several days to do such. The young woman could not do the task, but a magic elf could, so he helped the young woman as long as she were to give him something in return. On the last day, he asked for her first child in return, unless she could find out his name. Afte...more
Idk how to review this book. I was familiar with the story line because it is a common tale that I must have been told at some point. This edition is beautifully illustrated by Paul Zelinsky. The pictures look so realistic and have a really rich vibrancy to them. The story itself is a classic, but one I think will eventually become obsolete. It leaves something to be desired and doesn't address a whole lot of questions that it raises. Why can Rumpelstiltskin weave straw into gold? How can he fly...more
Gianna Parisi
I absolutely love this picture book. Rumpelstiltskin retold and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky is a beautifully retelling of the Grimms Brothers original rumpelstiltskin. The intricate detail that Zelinsky uses in his artwork is fantastic. I felt as if I was actually in the story.
I love how at the end of the book Zelinsky has the history of the original tale of rumpelstiltskin. In the original rumpelstiltskin rips himself in half when the queen tricks him into knowing his name. But Zelinsky ha...more
Dorothy Carder
The moral of this story reminds me at first that no matter how much we do for certain people (in this story the king), they are never satisfied or happy. I do not understand what the moral at the ending could be if any. The queen gets to keep her first born child from the cutely drawn little man, but only because she found out his name. I don't think the story could be about the greed of the miller's daughter, because she was only spinning the thread to spare her life. Her faithful servant thoug...more
Lisa Hartmann
This folklore story of Rumplestiltskin has received the Caldecott Honor Award. I read it as a child and remember enjoying it very much. The story could be a little scary for a young child. A millers dauther is taken away and locked up in a room and told to spin straw into gold or she will die. Rumpelstilskin offers to help her but at a big price. In the end everything works out but the story is a little dark. Not exactly a good bed time story! I can honestly say though that i don't remember bein...more
Victoria Long
Zelinsky has created a great version of this classic story. It is easy to follow, yet still captivating. No matter how many times you've heard the story you'll want to read this from beginning to end. The illustrations are truly beautiful. The paintings capture each moment and depict rumpelstiltskin perfectly. You can see all the personality in one little man and all the despair of the miller's daughter. The way he painted the king's people and the baby boy are enough by themselves and the text...more
Rumpelstiltskin by Jacob Grimm Wilhelm Grimm, retold and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky brings one of the Grimms' most popular tales to life.

Zelinsky's gorgeous, detailed illustrations are done in oil paintings, with a late medieval setting. People, animals, building exteriors and interiors are all beautifully rendered. The illustrations of the Miller's daughter and Rumpelstiltskin are the most engaging. Among my favorite images are: Rumpelstiltskin appears, three pulls, taking her ring, weddin...more
This was my first time reading Rumpelstiltskin. I enjoyed it. I suggest that people who have a picture kind of mind read this.
A young girl is given the task of weaving a ton of thread into gold. " But thats Impossible!!". The prince that tasked her says "If you don't, excpect to have death tomorrrow". She sits in the room after he closes the door and starts sobbing. Then the door opens and she looks that way to find a small odd looking man. He says, if I Turn all of this into gold for you what...more
I am a big fan of short stories and Rumplestiltskin and Other Grimm Tales fit into this bill. Of course, they are stereotypically gender biased. Poor dumb miller's daughter gets sold into the kings hands by her sorry and greedy father. He tells the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold. Well if she was so good at that, why did he turn her over to the king? Would he not have rather hidden her away and made her spin for HIM? The king should have asked a few more questions but you know ho...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
More about Paul O. Zelinsky...
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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