Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Retold by: Paul O. Zelinsky

First line: Once there was a poor miller who had a beautiful daughter.

Why you should read this book: Zelinksky’s sumptuous illustrations steal the show in this Caldecott Honor book, which combines several old versions of the traditional Grimm’s fairy tale to retell the story of the unfortunate girl whose father’s braggadocio results in her imprisonment in a room full of straw, charged with an impossible task: to spin plant material into a precious metal. Of course, the curious-looking Rumplestiltskin arrives to trade his services, and soon the pages are filled with exquisitely detailed spools of gold thread, successively larger rooms of perfectly rendered straw, and at last, the draping finery of royal clothes. There is a price to pay for the impish creature’s services, but with the help of a faithful servant and a blabbermouth creature, the transaction is canceled and the humans live happily ever after.

Why you shouldn’t read this book: You're teaching your kids not to renege on an agreement.

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