Five stars for Rumpelstiltskin’s Child
This book portrays the part of the fairy tale that many may wish had been written a long time ago. It paints the impish little man in a much more positive light than he was characterized in the short story written by the Brothers Grimm. Thankfully, in this new improved version, along with his magical skills, he is possessed of a much more peaceful personality. The Rumpelstiltskin who tore himself apart in a rage at the end of that old tale does not exist in this one.
Rumply, as he is known to the people in his village is a thoughtful and kind soul. Unfortunately, no one but the children are truly aware of this. The adults, in their greed for the gold that Rumpelstiltskin is able to enrich their lives with through his spinning, treat him callously and are most unkind. With little hope for happiness there, the forsaken man leaves the village, heartbroken.
As in the original fairy tale, he meets a young woman who is doomed to die if she cannot turn a pile of straw into gold before morning. He spins the gold for her, requesting her first born child as payment. After the child is born and withheld from him, rather than stamping his feet and tearing himself apart, events conspire to send him back to the village where he grew up. Back there, his world so drastically changes that it will put a lump in your throat and joy in your heart.
Bonnie’s use of bright colours and gold etchings and borders evoke the feel of elaborate fairy tale illustrations from the days of the original story. This is a great little story to read aloud and then to contemplate answers to questions like “How does exclusion change people” and “Why is forgiveness important”. I’m all for books with positive messages and this one has plenty.