Laura Noto's Reviews > Rumpelstiltskin

Rumpelstiltskin by Paul O. Zelinsky
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's review
Oct 11, 2009

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bookshelves: traditional-literature

This is another picture book version of Rumpelstiltskin intended for Preschoolers to Third graders. It follows the traditional story about a miller who tells the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The king puts the miller’s daughter into three different rooms filled with straw for 3 consecutive nights and tells her to spin the straw into gold or die. Each night a little man comes in and exchanges his services of spinning the straw into gold for gifts. The first night she gives him a necklace, the second night she gives him her ring, and the third night she has nothing left to give. He asks her to promise him her first born child as queen and she agrees because she doesn’t want to die. A year later when the little man comes to collect the child she cries and begs him not to take her baby. He gives her three days to guess his name. She tries all of the names that she and her messengers can gather the first two days, but they do not guess correctly. The second night she sends her most faithful servant into the woods to search for the answer. The servant overhears the little man say his name and she tells the queen. When she guesses Rumpelstiltskin’s name correctly he gets upset, rides off on a wooden spoon, and is never heard from again.
This book won a Caldecott Honor for the beautifully detailed oil paintings that illustrate this story. The author and illustrator also wrote an informative segment in the end about the history of the story. They explain the facts about the story, when and where the story of Rumpelstiltskin was created, and how the details changed in the various books by the Grimm brothers. Now that I have read this history, I understand all of the other variations of Rumpelstiltskin that I have seen.

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