Rumpelstiltskin

Jonathan Langley, Author, Jonathan Langley, Illustrator
Jonathan Langley, Author, Jonathan Langley, Illustrator HarperCollins Publishers $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-020198-2
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
Hardcover - 978-0-06-020199-9
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Though whimsy may strike some as not quite appropriate for this beloved straw-into-gold fairy tale, that quality flourishes in Langley's ( Collins Book of Nursery Rhymes ) lighthearted retelling. The winsome heroine, a clever, sensible girl named Ruby, triumphs over the foibles of her boastful father, the greedy king and the feisty Rumpelstiltskin. Reminiscent of the Ahlbergs' artwork, the illustrations here, with their cherubic characters and cheerful clutter, exude the same homey jollity. Diverting details abound, and a host of adorable creatures scamper across the margins. Even the dreaded Royal Crocodiles, to whom poor Ruby will be fed if she does not complete her task, have a certain appeal. The simple yet lively text, appropriate for even a very young picture book audience, nonetheless exhibits touches of humor appreciated by older readers. While purists may prefer the drama of Paul Zelinsky's version or the opulence of Gennady Spirin's more dramatic art, this rendition is sure to bring chuckles. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)
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