This is a fairly straightforward retelling of Rumpelstiltskin (though it’s one of those stories that I sort of knew half of and had never really heard the whole thing),with incredible oil paintings for pictures. This is one of those books that I could look at for hours. The illustrations are unbelievable. I wasn’t sure it was anything the kids would also like, but they’re even more obsessed with it than I am. Maybe the realistic illustrations give them the vague notion that it’s a true story, but they’re very concerned for everyone involved.
There’s a note at the end giving some history to the story (and the Grimm brothers), and apparently a standard ending is for Rumpelstiltskin to get so mad he stomps his foot into the ground, grabs his other foot, and rips himself in two. This story does not end so gruesomely, thankfully, though that little tidbit has mightily intrigued the boys.
When we get this out of the library, it’s one that gets read several times a day. If your child is at all interested in folk tales and fairy tales, I would highly recommend this one.