Laura Noto's Reviews > Rumpelstiltskin

Rumpelstiltskin by Jacob Grimm
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Oct 10, 2009

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bookshelves: traditional-literature, graphic-novels

Summary-
Rumpelstiltskin, the Classics Illustrated Junior version, is a graphic novel written for students in 4th to 8th grade. It is a fairly accurate version of the fairy tale. It begins with a poor miller who has a beautiful daughter. The miller wants to get his daughter a better life so he decides to talk to the king. When he is refused entry into the castle because he isn’t “important” enough, he lies and says that his daughter can spin straw into gold. Once the king finds this information out he challenges the daughter to spin a room full of straw into gold in one night or die. The girl begins to cry in the room full of straw until a little man climbs in the window. The little man agrees to turn the straw into gold for her if she gives him her necklace. After the king finds a room full of gold he moves the girl into a bigger room full of straw and challenges her to spin it into gold again or die the next day. The little man interrupts her crying again and spins it all into gold for her ring. The next day the king decides to move the girl into the biggest room in the palace filled with straw. He says that if she can spin the straw into gold that he will marry her but if she can’t do it then she will die. The little man returns and spins all of the straw into gold, but the girl does not have anything to give him. He asks for her first born child in return. She agrees because she doesn’t have anything else to give and she doesn’t want to die. Later in the book the king marries her and they have a happy year together. She forgets all about her promise to the little man and she gives birth to a son. When the little man comes back to get the baby she cries and begs him to reconsider. He says that she must guess his name within three days in order to keep her son. She has messengers find all of the names in her kingdom which she guesses unsuccessfully. On the second night a jester (who was a background character throughout the book) follows the little man, hears him say his name (which is Rumoelstiltskin), and tells the queen. She guesses correctly, gets to keep her child, and Rumpelstiltskin goes back to the woods.
After this story there is a 2 page illustrated fable, 2 funny rhymes with illustrations, and an informational 1 page spread about giraffes. The parts after the story are unrelated to the story of Rumpelstiltskin but they are interesting and entertaining.
Response-
I liked this presentation of Runpelstiltskin. I believe that this kind of a book would hold the interest of a student better than a picture book or chapter book. It also made the fairy tale seem more mature, even though it was the same story that primary children read. The story elements are illustrated well, and the layout of the book is clear. Some graphic novels can be a little confusing, but this book’s text is laid out in an organized way that would make sense to any reader. I would present this book to a poor reader. I think that it would be motivating to read because it looks like a comic book and it is a familiar story (to most children that grew up in North America). Poor comprehenders and struggling readers could understand this book better because they already know the structure, characters, and the problem of the story.
I also enjoyed the entertaining/ educational features in the back of the book. I think that they were irrelevant to the topic of the book, however they were enjoyable. These features are part of the book’s comic theme. They are random but students don’t need things to be structured, so I don’t mind them.
Overall, this was a nice book for intermediate students to read.
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Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-2 of 2) </span> <span class="smallText">(2 new)</span>

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message 1: by Amanda (new)

Amanda I really liked reading your response to this book. I think that I originally stayed away from books written in graphic novel format because of the unknown aspects of the structure. As a child, I never really was inclined to read them, and I think because of that I have not found many for my students. I appreciate that you commented on the structure being of a graphic novel, yet very organized. I would like to put this book on my to-read list so that I could take a look at this book. Because I have yet to really introduce this genre, I would like to be sure to start with books that are of that structure, but are easily read and followed. I think it would also be nice to read the original version to my students first, and then introduce this book so we could talk about the similarities and differences of the story as well as the structure. Thank you for your review!


message 2: by James (new)

James Govednik This book sounds interesting to me because of the graphic novel format. I came across a book of fairy tales in "comic" format (Little Lit, Art Spiegelman) with lots of other "extras" included, like you mention for this book. Seems to be a throwback to the golden days of comics, when those items were standard features in comic books (1940s-1950s). This sounds like a book to make a note of!


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