Reviews for Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 March 1997
/*Starred Review*/ Ages 5^-9. Forget passive damsels in distress. Most fractured fairy tales have a feminist spin, and this sequel (sort of) turns Rumpelstiltskin into a witty mix of fable and farce, with a king who's as stupid as he is greedy and a sly 16-year-old damsel, who manages the whole show and saves the world. It turns out that Rumpelstiltskin and the miller's daughter had really escaped the wicked king; they had married and had a daughter. Now at 16, she is captured by the king and ordered, as her mother once was, to spin straw into gold. She could ask her dad for help, but instead she cooks up a plan, outwits the king, and brings food and power to the starving people. She persuades the king that the best way to make gold is not to spin it but to grow it, and she makes him give his gold to the poor farmers--who then grow golden wheat and food. Pictures and story are a clever mix of period and contemporary. Stanley's artistry transforms the Renaissance court of her majestic Leonardo da Vinci (1996) into delicious slapstick here, with the stately palace festooned with grotesque versions of the Mona Lisa and Botticelli's Venus. The king looks like a costumed buffoon in drag, and the ringlets of his giant wig like clusters of coins. In a wonderful climax, the tamed king decides to marry her, but she suggests she become prime minister instead. This tale would make an uproarious readers' theater, with the king like a whining child ("Is it time yet?" "Do I have to?"), his guards gnashing their teeth and clutching their swords, and the smart blond bossing them all. ((Reviewed March 1, 1997)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 1997
In this humorous take-off on the familiar folktale, Rumpelstiltskin's daughter relies on her cleverness instead of magic. When the king orders her to spin straw into gold, she tricks him out of his greedy ways and becomes prime minister of his kingdom. The illustrations provide splendid, detailed palace interiors and endow the characters, especially the king and his minions, with comically exaggerated features. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 July #2
This miller's daughter can't imagine why anyone would want to marry the money-loving king, and proposes marriage to the short little man who has saved her life. In a starred review, PW said, "Stanley blazes a new path for herself in this effervescent revisionist fairy tale, and the results are stunning." Ages 5-up. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1997 February #3
Stanley blazes a new path for herself in this effervescent revisionist fairy tale, and the results are as stunning as her best picture-book biographies (Leonardo da Vinci; Bard of Avon). Here she brings her meticulous illustrator's eye for detail to bear upon a fantasy kingdom that exists somewhere between Versailles and high farce, projecting an ornately imagined setting for a tale that scores a few serious points as it pokes fun at a nursery room favorite. This miller's daughter can't imagine why anyone would want to marry the money-loving king, and she feels grateful for the short little man who has saved her life by spinning straw into gold. When he bargains for her firstborn child, she is only to glad to counter-offer with a proposal of marriage ("I like your ideas on parenting, you'd make a good provider, and I have a weakness for short men"). Sixteen years later, the couple's daughter proves equally independent-minded when the king approaches her. The art is even more winning than the story: the king's palace is filled with famous works of art, e.g., the Mona Lisa, all featuring the vain monarch in place of their actual subjects; spreads spoof the Très Riches Heures and the prevailing loony lavishness will tickle those who don't get the visual allusions. A 24-karat prize. Ages 5-up. (Apr.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 1997 March
This tongue-in-cheek update of Rumpelstiltskin is a rollicking and irreverent spoof in which the miller's daughter marries Rumpelstiltskin because she likes his ideas on parenting and has a weakness for short men. When their daughter turns 16, they want her to see the world beyond their simple country life and send her to exchange some gold coins at the town market. When the greedy king, the same one from the original story, hears of a girl who can "make gold," the scenario is repeated. Imprisoned in the tower to spin straw into gold, the clever girl uses her wits to outsmart the ostentatious king by telling him her grandfather used to "grow" gold. Her twofold plan results in feeding and clothing the poor beleaguered subjects of the kingdom and her becoming prime minister. The comical, exaggerated illustrations feature bug-eyed characters, outlandish costumes for the foppish king, woven borders that frame the action, and humorous details like parodies of famous paintings. Stanley has spun 24-karat fun. Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 1997 December
Gr 2-4 The feisty offspring of the miller's daughter and Rumpelstiltskin outwits the greedy king, who is still intent on having more riches. No fool's gold here-Stanley spins pure fun. (March) Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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