Rumpelstiltskin illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. Published 1986. Caldecott Honor 1987.
This story gives me the creeps, and Zelinsky does a nice job of capturing the creepiness of the weird little man who can spin straw into gold. I like the way Zelinsky depicts faces in this one- his style made more sense to me in this book than in some of his others. I do wonder, though, why the miller’s daughter wants to marry the king - he seems like a jerk!
Duffy and the Devil by Harve & Margot Zemach. Published 1973. Caldecott Medal 1974.
While this is mostly just a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, I loved the way the story was written. There’s lots of fun vocabulary; words like bufflehead, clouts, rummage, plodging, and cock-a-hoop keep the tone fresh, and according to the book jacket, wholly Cornish, as the story is based on a play performed at Christmas by the people of 19th century Cornwall. I liked that the devil was made to look foolish rather than scary and that Jone, who is supposedly too old to effectively do her job is the one who is able to save the day in the end.
Tom Tit Tot by Evaline Ness. Published 1965. Caldecott Honor 1966.
Of the Rumpelstiltskin retellings on the list of Caldecott medalists and honorees, I think this British version is my favorite. It’s the most lively version with the most cartoonish characters, and the illustrations by Evaline Ness, with whom I have a love/hate relationship, actually suit the story quite well.
See other Caldecott Challenge participants' blogs on the challenge page at LibLaura5. Follow my challenge progress here.