Rumpelstiltskin: Paul O. Zelinsky


Author/Illustrator: Paul O. Zelinsky
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Year: 1986
Brief Summary:  A retelling of the classic folktale, Rumpelstiltskin, where a miller’s daughter is forced by the king to spin straw into gold.
Awards, Honors and Prizes:
Parents’ Choice Award, 1986 Gold Picture Books United States
Parents’ Choice Award, 2003 Gold Best 25 Books in 25 Years United States
Randolph Caldecott Medal, 1987 Honor Book United States
Redbook Children’s Picturebook Award, 1986 Winner United States

Best Books:
Children’s Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001 ; H.W. Wilson
Children’s Catalog, Nineteenth Edition, 2006 ; H.W. Wilson
State Provisional Reading List: 
Texas Reading Club, 1999; Texas

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:

  • Unit on folktales…how does this version compare to other versions?
  • Parts of the story: beginning, middle, end — younger kids can try to summarize the story; older kids can talk about how the author builds the suspense of the story to the climax.
  • Discussion of characterization: what do you think about the miller, the king, the daughter, and Rumpelstiltskin?
  • Have you ever made a deal with someone and regretted it?  If you met Rumpelstiltskin and he offered to help you with a wish, what would you do?
  • Can go over the origins of the story in the back of the book with older students.
  • How do the illustrations lend to the mood/tone for the story?

Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

  • Text-to-text connections
  • Text-to-self connections

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.: history of the story included in the back
Accessed at: Personal Library


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