The Girl Who Spun Gold
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The Girl Who Spun Gold

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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  506 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Quashiba, a peasant girl, is about to be made queen because the king believes that she can spin and weave golden things. A tiny creature comes to save her under the condition that she has three chances to guess his name right. West Indian
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Blue Sky Press
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The Girl Who Spun Gold by Virginia HamiltonBorreguita and the Coyote by Verna AardemaAdelita by Tomie dePaolaThe First Strawberries by Joseph BruchacTurtle's Race with Beaver by Joseph Bruchac
Picture Books On North American Folktales
1st out of 111 books — 3 voters
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Best Picture Books
379th out of 1,180 books — 876 voters


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Kathryn
Aug 02, 2010 Kathryn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kathryn by: Chandra--thank you!
This is a truly beautiful book! The Dillons are remarkable artists and I am so happy they were able to use the gold "color" for the illustrations (the illustrator's note explains that this was a rather complicated process but since the whole story revolves around gold, they wanted the illustrations to aptly reflect this). If you enjoy the gold work in Demi's illustrations, I think you would like these, too. As for the story itself, it's a version of the folktale most know as Rumpelstiltskin. The...more
Lisa Vegan
I’ve never much liked the Rumpelstiltskin tale and I wasn’t wild about the premise of this story, which is obviously based on it. I got angry at the original lie and angry at the advantage taken of it.

But, this is a wonderful telling. From the first page this story begged to be read aloud. The cadence of the language was beautiful. I still don’t like the story that much but I did like this version better than the one I grew up with. I definitely liked how it addressed the wrongs on everybody’s p...more
Ronyell
“The Girl Who Spun Gold” is an African retelling of the classic Brothers Grimm tale “Rumpelstiltskin” by Virginia Hamilton along with illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon and it is about how a young and beautiful woman named Quashiba has to spin golden thread for the King while guessing the name of a mysterious and frightening little man. “The Girl Who Spun Gold” is truly one of the best retellings of the classic Brothers Grimm tale ever written!

Virginia Hamilton has done an excellent job at re...more
Crystal Marcos
The Girl Who Spun Gold was a real treat. I,thought the illustrations were beautiful with the exception of Lit'mahn. I first opened the book in a dimly lit room and staring back at me was that creepy little man with razor sharp teeth! I think the illustrators captured the look in Lit'mahn they were going for. I turned on a light to enjoy the illustrations better. Really it wasn't because Lit'mahn freaked me out.;) At the end of the book, I found it fascinating how much work went into making the a...more
Marija
This african tale is a very nice spin on the story of Rumplestiltskin. I also like when the queen demands respect from her husband the king by giving him the silent treatment. Very beautiful illustrations also.
Beverly Kennett
This is a West Indian version of the story of Rumplestiltskin. In this version the story begins with a very detailed description of the little man's odd appearance and his magic. When the girl's mother brags to the king about how the girl can spin beautiful gold thread and fabrics, the king quickly marries her. One year later, he demands that she spin three rooms full of fabric. The little man, named Lit'mahn, promises to help and gives her three chances on three days to guess his name or he wil...more
 (NS) Amie
In this West Indies variation of Rumpelstiltskin, beautiful and young Quashiba is visited by the king one day while sitting and laughing with her mother. After her mother boasts that Quashiba can spin fine gold thread, the king insists on marrying her. Soon after the wedding, the king tells his bride that for now she is free, but in a year's time she will have to start spinning golden thread. Quashiba lives like a queen for a year, hoping the king will forget his demand. No such luck! At the yea...more
Lindsey
This book is a West Indian version of Rumpelstiltskin. The story begins with Quashiba's mother lies and tells Big King that her daughter can spin golden thread. Big King and Quashiba get married, and nothing is said about her ability to spin gold thread for a year and a day. After that time has passed, her husband locks her in a room and demands that she spin a room of golden thread and cloth. That's when Lit'mahn, the "shade fellow," offers his assistance. She has three tries on three nights to...more
Dolly
Aug 05, 2012 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We were excited to read a Caribbean version of Rumpelstiltskin and we were not disappointed. The story is entertaining and I liked the fact that despite the king locking his queen in the rooms to spin gold, he also has a hand in saving her. The illustrations are marvelous and we were fascinated by the description of creating the illustrations using gold leaf. Overall, we really enjoyed reading this story together.

This story was selected as one of the books for the August 2010 - North American F...more
Karol
When I opened this book and saw the first colorful illustration, I was awed. The illustrations are truly amazing in this book - highly detailed, with well-balanced and pleasing colors embellished with gold. I just loved looking at each page.

The story itself is told well; this is a version of the story known to me as Rumplestiltskin. The use of "dialect" to help one hear the voice of the story teller is something that tends to turn me off. And that was true here, as the author emulated a West Ind...more
Ardea Smith
Title / Author / Publication Date: The Girl Who Spun Gold/Virginia Hamilton/2000

Genre: Fiction, Fairytale

Format: Hardcover

Plot summary: In this African American retelling of a West Indian version of "Rumpelstiltskin," Lit'mahn spins thread into gold cloth for the king's new bride.

Considerations or precautions for readers advisory: Husband locks up his wife and threatens her with lifelong imprisonment.

Review citation: Kirkus Reviews. (August 15, 2000). (Book Review).


Section source used to find...more
N_katieg52
The Girl Who Spun Gold is an African version of Rumpelstiltskin and was interesting to say the least. The story is similar to the story of Rumpelstiltskin with some differences. After her mother told a fib that she could spin gold, Quashiba ended up marrying the king. She was unable to spin gold, and a tiny man (Lit’ Mahn) saved her by helping her. Quashiba was very unhappy because the king was very mean to her and she felt used for her alleged skills. Due to a conversation with the king, she wa...more
Randie
Hamilton, Virginia. (2000.) The Girl Who Spun Gold. L. and D. Dillon. New York: The Blue Sky Press.

Literary Genre: Traditional Literature (Picture Book)

Quashiba is a beautiful girl who finds herself in a seemingly impossible predicament because of her mother’s lie. Quashiba is married to the young Big King who demands her to weave him three rooms of golden things or stay looked in a room forever. A magical tiny shadow man with a wooden leg and long tail offers to help Quashiba but she only has t...more
Megan D. Neal
This is a West Indies inspired version of the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, called Lit'mahn in this story. The mother of a young village girl brags to the passing Big King about her daughter's ability to spin gold thread. Big King happily marries the girl, but "being young, he went too far." He tells her he will give her everything her heart desires, but in a year and a day she must start her spinning. You know how the story ends. Or do you?

I found this a refreshing take on the usual Grimm version....more
Kara
I’m giving this 5 stars based on the artwork – which is gorgeous. There is a heavy, heavy use of gold paint throughout – since, after all, this is a story about gold. The pictures are a mixture of very real looking faces and hands, engulfed in sumptuous bolts of cloth that are as dazzlingly and abstract as any Klimt painting.

The characters, vibrant and alive, move through a setting just as colorful and real and yet abstract – the flowers and trees and grass look like tiles from an ancient Mesop...more
Rll52013_stephanieroche
"The Girl Who Spun Gold" is the West Indian version of the old Grimm fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin. The plot of this story is very much the same as the Grimm version, but they refer to the tiny man as Lit'mahn, and he is much more fantastical than the original Rumpelstiltskin character. In the illustrations he looks a lot more like a mythical creature, a goblin with pointy ears and sharp teeth, and a long tail. This version is beautifully written in language that the author refers to as a "simple,...more
Jamie Davis
This is a beautifully illustrated and well-told tale of a variation of Rumplestiltskin. Quashiba has to spin cloth of golden thread from cotton after she is married to the king. The creepy, tiny creature Litl Mahn helps her.

Children find this tale to be on the scary side and love that aspect. Especially the ending.
Heidi
Grades K-3
Virginia Hamilton's traditional West Indian variant of Rumpelstiltskin has many similarities to the most famous German tale. It is the mother who lies about her daughter's ability to spin gold, and after one year of marriage, the handsome king threatens to lock up the girl, Quashiba, "forever and a year" if she fails to spin three rooms of gold. Lit'mahn Bittyun, a little shade man, spins for her but will make her tiny and carry her off to live in the shade if she fails to guess his na...more
Mary
Now this one, this one was even written more recently than the Duffy story, and though they did insert some parts where the girl gets angry and refuses to forgive her husband who imprisoned her for a few years, he still imprisoned her and she still stayed with a man who pretty much told her that's what he was planning. This is the story of an abusive husband. That's what's underneath the folktale. It's messed up and we don't even get the fun of the demon thing tearing itself in two. I'd forgotte...more
Paul Howell
The illustrations in this book are elaborate and rich. They were made using acrylic paint and gold leaf and it is apparent that a lot of time and effort went into creating these intricate pictures. The story is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin (Lit’mahn Bittyun in this version) with one notable exception; Quashiba (the Millers Daughter) acts like a real person and is not a complete pushover as she is in other versions. I feel the book works better when read out loud because of Hamilton’s creative...more
Ali Lutz
Although I believe children should be taught to not be greedy like Big King was in the story, I would not recommend this book. The African folk tale was written in an off-beat dialogue that new readers would have a difficult time understanding. I, myself had a hard time reading it and only thought that the last page of the story provided any enriching material. After reading the tale I think that there are much better, and more suitable books (such as rainbow fish or other stories with a message...more
CH_Kathleen
I enjoyed this picture book very much. The Girl Who Spun Gold is the traditional folktale of Rumpelstiltskin. It is a West Indian variant. The West Indian variant is told in a so-called black dialect. The story is wonderful and children of all ages and cultures would enjoy it. The illustrations also make this book outstanding. The paintings used acrylic paint on acetate, over-painted with gold paint. The borders of the book were done using a gold leaf. The illustrations used gold paint since the...more
Miranda
The story of Rumpelstiltskin is told richly in this West Indian variant. The author has worked to capture a simplified version of the dialect that still retains the sing-song quality of the language. While this may be complicated for younger readers, it adds a depth and richness to the story. This wonderfully complements the beautiful illustrations that are embossed with gold leaf. The pictures perfectly capture the beauty of Queen Quashiba and the distorted, colorfully ugly Liht'man. This great...more
Adriana Simmons
math integration (multiplication)
Stephanie Linton
What an interesting take on the Grimm's tale of Rumpelstiltskin! This version takes place in Africa and this is reflected in the language used. What I enjoyed most about this version is that the princess is not a passive woman who is helpless in her own survival. Instead, the African queen in Hamilton's version is strong and is very much proactive in her search to find a solution to the king's request of spinning gold. I think it is important to show young girls traditional tales that have a str...more
Dorothy
In this fascinating African-American retelling of the Rumplestiltskin tale, a beautiful girl's mother brags to the king that her daughter can spin gold. The girl, horrified by her mother's lie, is forced into a room where she is told to fill it with gold. Just then, an ugly little creature appears and tells her he'll spin the gold if she can only guess his name. The female figures are not as passive in this retelling and the injustice of her situation is really made apparent in the text and imag...more
Jenelle
Lovely book that retells the Rumpelstiltskin in a West Indies setting.

The pictures are gorgeous, in fact the illustrators mention that they used metallic paint and even gold leaf to produce the luminous look of the gold in the story.

Emphasizing the setting, the story is written in the lilting style of the Carribean Islands (but I was pretty pathetic at pulling it off out loud and came off sounding Irish half the time!). I would love to hear an audio version to go along with it.
Scooping it Up
An African twist on Rumpelstilskin. I like that it addresses the fact that the prince who locks up the girl is a total jerk and he and she both admit it in this story, she won't speak to him and the marriage has a year or so of pain after the gold incident. I think the telling in this is much deeper than the original! Gorgeous illustrations, my kids liked reading various versions of this tale this week and it was nice to find one that had brown people in it and more nuanced details.
Esther
This this a twist to the classic story Rumplestilskin. I girl who is made queen since the king was told about her ability to spin "golden things." She finds a strange creature that helps her spin three rooms into golden things, but at the end of the third room she has to guess his name. Beautiful pictures. Does she guess his name in time, and forgive the king of his greed? Read and see.
Alaina Sloo
An interesting West Indian version of Rumpelstiltskin, gorgeously illustrated and with a wonderful sense of dialect and rhythm. A little bit darker than the most common contemporary versions of the story -- the king and Rumpelstiltskin in particular are crueler -- so I usually offer to children in kindergarten or older.
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