Book View: The Rumpelstiltskin Problem

Book View: The Rumpelstiltskin ProblemThe Rumpelstiltskin Problem by Vivian Vande Velde
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on August 28th 2000
Pages: 128

Have you ever wondered just what was going on when that odd little man with the long name stepped up and volunteered to spin straw into gold for the miller’s daughter? If you stop and think about it, there are some very peculiar and rather hard-to-explain components to the story.

Vivian Vande Velde has wondered too, and she’s come up with these six alternative versions of the old legend. A bevy of miller’s daughters confront their perilous situation in very different ways — sometimes comic, sometimes scary. Most of the time, it’s the daughter who gets off safely, but sometimes, amazingly, Rumpelstiltskin himself wins the day. And in one tale, it is the king who cleverly escapes a quite unexpected fate.

Short & Sweet: I loved the variety of tales in this novel, featuring Rumpelstiltskin anywhere from the villian, a heart-filled love interest, and even an old woman who only wants a child of her own. These stories are well written and definitely vary widely as to the way the tale is told. My favorite had to be the last one in which the king has to cleverly get out of marrying the overbearing miller's daughter who has imposed herself on him. I love the clever way he ends up not having to marry her. Definitely a fun way to end the book.
Final Verdict: A great set of retellings of Rumpelstiltskin and highly suggested for those who love fairy tales.
Have you read any recent Rumpelstiltskin retellings? Or other fairy tales? Leave them below. 
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3 responses to “Book View: The Rumpelstiltskin Problem

  1. This was such a fun book! I’ve always found Rumpelstiltskin to be an interesting character, and I love that this book showed different layers of him.

    I’d highly recommend A Curse Dark as Gold, which is much longer and darker, but absolutely amazing. Happy Reading!

  2. I love retellings. This one looks fun! I liked The Crimson Thread by Suzanne Weyn. It is a fun Rumpelstiltskin retelling.

  3. I remember reading this in grade school probably around the time it first came out and I think it really fueled my interest in fairy tales in all their different manifestations.

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