Rumpelstiltskin

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It was a boast that would have terrible consequences. Once upon a time, when a miller met the King, he proudly announced that his beautiful daughter had a special talent: she could actually spin straw into gold. That caught His Majesty’s attention immediately; unfortunately, it wasn’t true. Yet the poor girl’s life depended on completing this impossible task. How could she ever succeed?
Only with the help of a strange little man with a magical ...

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Overview

It was a boast that would have terrible consequences. Once upon a time, when a miller met the King, he proudly announced that his beautiful daughter had a special talent: she could actually spin straw into gold. That caught His Majesty’s attention immediately; unfortunately, it wasn’t true. Yet the poor girl’s life depended on completing this impossible task. How could she ever succeed?
Only with the help of a strange little man with a magical touch. But he exacted a dreadful promise in return…
With lyricism and grace, John Cech retells this suspenseful story, and provides fascinating background on its origins. Martin Hargreaves offers richly elaborate artwork that truly captures the characters’ personalities and their far-away fairy-tale world.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

A new picture-book version of the classic fairy tale falls flat. While faithful to the elements of the plot, the narrative fails to provide any psychological depth, with the result that all of the characters are unsympathetic, from the boastful miller to the clueless daughter, the greedy king and the strange Rumpelstiltskin. As a result, readers won't really care about any of them. The telling is straightforward and workmanlike, but lacks sparkle: "For the first time in days, the queen felt a ray of hope break through the clouds. She didn't have time to bask in its light, though, because the little man had suddenly appeared in the garden." Hargreaves's illustrations are serviceable but bland. An appended note tells of the origins of the tale, and various traditions about names and naming. Uninspired and Unexceptional, especially next to such rich versions as Paul O. Zelinsky's glorious Caldecott Honor retelling of 1986, still the gold (not straw) standard. (Picture book/fairy tale. 4-10)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402730665
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 10/7/2008
  • Series: Classic Fairy Tale Collection Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

John Cech
John Cech writes plays, poetry, and fiction for both children and adults, and is a Professor of English at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He is also the Director of the Center for Children’s Literature and Culture and has served as a judge for The New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year, as well as the Boston Globe/Horn Book Awards; was President of the Children’s Literature Association; and won the Chandler Award of Merit for his work in Children’s Literature.
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