About the Author
Paul Galdone was born in Budapest in 1907. He was the winner of a Caldecott Honor and illustrated more than three hundred books in his lifetime, many of which are classic retellings. There are twelve titles in the Folk Tale Classics series.
What People are Saying About This
"It's like hearing a brand-new story in the master's words and vivid scenes." Publishers Weekly
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Galdone, P. (1985). Rumpelstiltskin. New York, NY: Ticknor & Fields.Grades 1 through 3One day during a visit to the king, the miller boats of his daughter¿s ability to spin straw into gold. The king brings the miller¿s daughter to the castle and threatens to kill her if she does not prove her talent. She frets all night and when she starts crying, a little man comes through the door. The miller¿s daughter strikes a deal with him: her necklace for the straw spun into gold. The king is amazed; greedy, he forces the girl to spin more and more gold. Every night, she makes a new deal with the little man until she has nothing more to trade. Desperate and afraid for her life, she agrees to give him her first-born. The king marries the miller¿s daughter, and she forgets about her promise. When she has her first child, a baby daughter, the little man returns to claim his prize. Her crying prompts a deal: if she can find out his name, he will leave her and her daughter alone. The queen sends her messenger to search far and wide for names and learns the names of everyone in the kingdom, but nothing matches the little man¿s name. The messenger returns with good news; he saw the little man dance around the fire, and his name is Rumpelstiltskin. She wins her bet with Rumpelstiltskin and keeps her daughter. In a fit of anger, he stamps his feet so hard that he disappears from sight.Rumpelstiltskin is a faithful retelling of the German fairy tale about a supernatural being that rescues a damsel in distress in exchange for her baby. The little man appears from nowhere and takes advantage of the poor miller¿s daughter, stuck in a bad predicament because of his father¿s lie. That the queen outwits the evil man guarantees a happy ending, but readers may still feel a bit unsettled by her willingness to agree with giving up her baby. The illustrations are bold¿two-page spreads colored mostly in bright, primary colors, with blue and red the most predominant. The beautiful, blond miller¿s daughter stands in stark contrast against the ugly little man and his bushy eyebrows, each representing an extreme of character: good in attractive; evil is ugly. The bold illustrations enliven this classic fairy tale.
This was my favorite fairy tale growing up because the heroine outsmarts the villain.
I like Galdone's telling, and his illustrations work well even though they aren't conventionally pretty, as is more often the style with these sorts of tales. It's worth noting that Rumpelstiltskin looks more like an old lady than an old man, but perhaps this is just because Galdone was forward-thinking. Certainly a classic that belongs in all libraries.