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Posted July 28, 2008
This is a wonderful children's book filled with great illustrations. This is a great book for teaching the moral of the story.
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Posted November 27, 2006
Posted April 12, 2001
A Confusing Grimm Brothers Tale with Beautiful Illustrations
This version of Rumpelstiltskin is based on the second edition of the Grimms' work in 1819, with some language from later versions and a few additions by Mr. Zelinsky. All of this is detailed in the author's note at the end of the book. The high points here are the matchless, detailed illustrations that mimic oil paintings in delicate, detailed pastels. These images create a majesty and power that add to the mystery of this most powerful story. This version will leave some unsatisfied for the apparent foolishness of the miller and the needless cruelty of the king. The miller visits the king and brags that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The king sends for her, and bids her to do this overnight, or be killed the following morning. She is locked up with a spinning wheel and straw. She weeps in despair because she has no idea of how to do that . . . until a little man comes in and offers to help. She trades her necklace for his aid, and soon the straw becomes golden bobbins of thread. The king likes this and demands that she do it again the next night. The little man again offers to help. She trades her ring this time for his assistance. The king then comes and says she must do it a third time or die. If she succeeds, he will marry her. With nothing left to pay the little man, she has to agree to his request for her first born child. After the child is born, the little man returns for his reward. She persuades him to give her three days to guess his name. If she succeeds, she does not have to give up her child. A servant follows him into the woods and hears him say, 'Rumpelstiltskin is my name.' The queen 'guesses' correctly and he rides off on a spoon never to be heard from again. This story always bothered me when I was a child. Why were the men all so unreasonable? I still find myself feeling that way 50 years later. I avoided reading this story to my children when they were little. I didn't think it had the redeeming values of most folk talkes. The reason for reading this book is to enjoy the illustrations, so I recommend that you get it for yourself (rather than for your child) if you liked the story as a youngster. If you didn't like the story, even the illustrations won't save it for you. The book won a Caldecott Honor for its illustrations. After you finish reading the book or thinking about the story (if you don't read it), I suggest you consider your own conduct to locate any places where you make promises or say things that create problems for others. Be sure you aren't acting like the miller. Act honorably, and inspire that in others! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent SolutionWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.