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Rumpelstiltskin (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Rumpelstiltskin (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.4 9
by Paul O. Zelinsky, Brothers Grimm (Based on a book by)

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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.


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.

Product Details

Turtleback Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.75(w) x 11.50(h) x 0.50(d)
740L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

After studying at Marburg, Jacob became a clerk in the War Office at Kassel, and in 1808 librarian to Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia. In 1841 he received Professorship at Berlin, and in 1854 began work on Deutsches Worterbuch with his brother.

Bernadette Watts has loved to draw since her childhood in England. She created her first picture book under the influence of Beatrix Potter. Watts studied at the Maidstone Art School in Kent and is the illustrator of North South fairy tales The Snow Queen and The Ugly Duckling.

Wilhelm Grimm and his brother Jacob are famous for their classical collection of folk songs and folktales, especially for Children's and Household Tales, generally known as Grimm's Fairy Tales.

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Rumpelstiltskin 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful children's book filled with great illustrations. This is a great book for teaching the moral of the story.
JenLG More than 1 year ago
This was a book I loved as a child and I still enjoy reading it to this day. I remember checking it out from my elementary school library. Then to my delight, the show “Reading Rainbow” featured this book with animation and great storytelling which I remember to this day. I’ve read this folktale to my own daughter and now she enjoys this storybook just as much as I did many years ago. How I wished I could actually spin straw into gold! The book cover gives a preview of the amazing oil-painting illustrations contained within, and these beautiful illustrations are complemented by the story retold by Paul Zelinsky. The layout of this book makes it natural for his artwork on some of the pages to overflow into the facing page, almost as if the story itself is overflowing from the book into the realm of our existence. Parents would do anything to prevent harm from coming to their children, and the story of the queen outsmarting the little man known as Rumpelstiltskin makes for a happy ending. This book manages to bring the magical folktale of Rumpelstiltskin to life, and is sure to be a children’s favorite for many years to come.
Xena-Angel More than 1 year ago
This book is nicely written and well illustrated. It was a too easy for my 9 year old, but he wanted to know the story of Rumpelstiltskin after seeing the character on TV's Once Upon a Time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Rumpelstiltskin a lot! Because my grandmother tolled it to a few days and me later I did a play with my cousin about it for my mother and grandmother. And I grew you love it! The story is a little about a millers daughter is ordered to make strew into gold because her father tolled the king she could. And to help her a little she has to trust a little man when she makes big bargains with him to make the gold for her. But when she gets to the third bargains the mills daughter has to save her baby by answering a riddle.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story never gets old with me. I think that the pictures were very cute.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because I love classic fairy tales. It is a wonderful book with great vocabulary words. I strongly recommend this book for children of all ages. They will truly love it. I also used this book for a fourth grade classroom. The children really loved this book they loved these beautiful illustrations that portray what is being said in the text.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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 Solution