Rumpelstiltskin: From the German of the Brothers Grimm, Illst by Paul 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.

Jacob Ludwig Karl, the elder of the brothers Grimm, was born in 1785, and Wilhelm Karl in the following year. They both studied at Marburg, and from 1808 to 1829 mainly worked in Kassel as state-appointed librarians, Jacob also assisting in diplomatic missions between 1813 and 1815 and again in 1848. Both brothers had been professors at Göttingen for several years when in 1837 they became two of the seven leading Göttingen academics dismissed from their posts by the new King of Hanover for their liberal political views. In 1840 they were invited by Frederick William IV of Prussia to settle in Berlin as members of the Academy of Sciences, and here they remained until their deaths (Wilhelm died in 1859 and Jacob in 1863).

Richly hued oil paintings complement a story simply and gracefully told.  Children love the story for its mystery, and its familiarity. Adults will find that, like most classic fairy tales, this one rewards periodic rethinking. -- New York Times Book Review

Zelinsky's smooth retelling and glowing pictures cast the story in a new and beautiful light. -- School Library Journal

Paul Zelinsky was born in Evanston, Illinois. He attended Yale University, where he took a course with Maurice Sendak, which later inspired him to pursue a career in children's books. Afterwards he received a graduate degree in painting from Tyler School of Art, in Philadelphia and Rome. Paul Zelinsky lives in New York with his wife, Deborah, and the younger of their two daughters.

Target Age: 5-8

Dutton Books for Young Readers

Pub Date: October 16, 1986

0.16" H x 11.28" L x 8.55" W

40 pages


Puffin Books
Pub Date: September 01, 1996
0.16" H x 11.28" L x 8.55" W