________________ CM . . . . Volume IV Number 7 . . . . November 28, 1997

cover Rumpelstiltskin.

Brothers Grimm. Illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood, 1997.
32pp., hardcover, $15.95.
ISBN 0-88899-279-3.

Subject Headings:
Fairy tales.

Preschool - grade 2 / Ages 4 - 7.
Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**** /4


There was once a miller who was poor, but he had a beautiful daughter. One day he came to speak with the king and boasted that his daughter could spin gold out of straw.
image And so begins the familiar Brothers Grimm story of the young girl who, because of a boastful father, finds herself imprisoned by a greedy king and threatened with death unless she can achieve what her father claims she can do. When she is thrice "rescued" by a little man who will spin her straw into gold, she must each time give him something, his ultimate demand being "the first child you have after you are queen." A year later, as queen, the girl must honour that agreement if she is unable to discover the little man's name.

      Readers who know Gay's previous work will immediately recognize her familiar cartoon-like illustration style though this time the illustrations do not appear to be as "busy" nor do they seem to include as many "extra" details as has been the case in some of her earlier titles. Using graphite and coloured pencils on vellum, Gay maintains her horizontal format with most of each illustration staying within a rectangle, but with parts overflowing, sometimes on to the facing page. Given the grimness of the original tale, Gay's text and illustrations soften the story for the intended audience. For example, the little man is comical, almost jester-like, in appearance, and it is only the cobwebs in his hat, plus the creatures trailing behind him, that hint of his true sinister nature. With no text, the final illustration of the queen playfully tossing her smiling child into the air, brings the story to a warm conclusion.

      This version of Rumpelstiltskin is a most worthy addition to the picturebook/traditional tale section of libraries serving early years students.

Rumpelstiltskin has been nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award in the Children's Literature - Illustration category.

Highly recommended.

In addition to being the Associate Dean (Undergraduate Programs) in the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba, Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and adolescent literature.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364