4.4 9
by Paul O. Zelinsky

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A strange little man helps the miller's daughter spin straw into gold for the king on the condition that she will give him her first-born child.See more details below

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A strange little man helps the miller's daughter spin straw into gold for the king on the condition that she will give him her first-born child.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This new rendition of the Grimm classic comes up short when compared to Paul Zelinsky's Caldecott Honor version. The retelling, in an odd mix of formal and familiar tones, downplays the story's essential magic, mystery and suspense. Spirin's ( Once There Was a Tree ; The Fool and the Fish ) artistic interpretation is not quite up to his usual level of excellence here--many of the book's pages feature surprisingly bare scenes of characters standing about talking to one another. Even the climactic scene in which Rumpelstiltskin unwittingly reveals his name is related entirely through Sage's exposition rather than Spirin's art (Zelinsky's interpretation of this same scene is an eerie, full-page masterpiece). Rumpelstiltskin himself, as portrayed here, is not a frightening or even odd creature; he is merely a very short, well-dressed man. Though Spirin's paintings of costumes and courtly splendor are, as always, elegant, Rumpelstiltskin is a tale that demands drama and flair. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Debra Briatico
In this enchanting tale, a king asks the daughter of a poor miller to spin straw into gold. Not knowing how to do this impossible task, the saddened girl loses hope until she receives a visit from a strange little man. This tiny imp decides to spin all of the king's straw into gold, but only under one condition--he gets the girl's first-born child when she marries the king and becomes queen. Agreeing to this proposition, the girl soon becomes queen and has a child one year later. When the little man shows up to collect the child, he offers another proposal to the queen. In this new agreement, he asks her to guess his name before the end of three days. Distraught over this predicament, the queen seeks the help of a faithful servant and together they outsmart the crafty Rumpelstiltskin. Zelinsky's exquisitely detailed illustrations perfectly capture the splendid beauty of the late medieval period, as well as the unique qualities of each character.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-- Watts's delicate artwork distinguishes this translation of Grimms' classic tale. While it falls short of the stunning beauty in Paul Zelinsky's version (Dutton, 1986), the illustrator's detailed colored-pencil illustrations do expand and give substance to the otherwise simple and straightforward text. Mice, frogs, ducks, fish, dragonflies, and even a hedgehog dart about as the king meets the miller and learns of his daughter. Vine-covered walls, tapestries, and starlit skies catch readers' eyes, allowing them to explore the king's castle with much delight. Bell's text, while not inspiring, faithfully follows the original. If another version of the story is needed, this one is pleasant enough, but it's not a must-buy. --Dot Minzer, North Barrington School, Barrington, IL
Stuart Miller
With a new translation by Anthea Bell, this picture book retells the familiar fairy tale "Rumpelstiltskin" in graceful, economical prose. Dramatizing the action in a series of large tableaus, Watts' pictures are pretty, but not too sweet. Children seeking "princess books" or parents and teachers looking for good picture books to read aloud will find this a satisfying choice.

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Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.75(w) x 11.25(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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