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Rumpelstiltskin's Child (2014)

Written and Illustrated by Bonne Ferrante

Single Drop Publishing

Fellow children's book blogger Bonnie Ferrante was good enough to send me a copy of her book to peruse. I read it as another entry in the path set out by Wicked: the reshaping of a popular story with the villains and heroes inverted. In this instance, it is Rumplestiltskin, formerly a child snatching troll of a man, who is now but the misunderstood hero.

The villagers mocked his small eyes. "They look like peas."

They mocked his large feet. "They look like loaves of bed."

All the teasing stuck to him like honey on a bear's fur.

My favorite aspect of this book was the layout. Bonnie has a real creative way of combining text and pictures.

She refers to it as being in the style of an illuminated manuscript, which is an interesting creative choice, and not one I would have anticipated from the cover image. She seems to have a real passion for this style, and it's interesting to see it combined with a picture book. I suppose that medieval illuminated manuscripts were, in a way, the world's first picture books.

Anyways, back to Rumpelstiltskin. He's a rather pathetic fellow, whose greatest joy in life is watching toddlers hiug. Really. That's a line from the book. So one day, he sees a young lad fall into the water, and he rushes in to save that boy's life. The villagers, being the bigots that they are, assume that the trollish fellow was actually responsible for the boy's mishap, so they run him out of town.

He wants more than anything a child of his own, poor Rumpelstiltskin does, one he can hug and squeeze and dress in little outfits, and... So it is with his mindset, that the infamous story then comes into play. He meets the princess and agrees to spin that straw into gold, in exchange for her first-born. But there are still more twists to come.

Speaking of twists, look at the twisting vines with which she laboriuosly and lovingly adorns her pages:

Will Rumpelstiltskin acquire a child of his very own? Or will he left to wander the world in shame, bereft of all hope and dignity? Maybe next time you'll think twice before pre-judging someone who only wants your first-born child!

1 comment:

  1. I'm putting out a second edition with an improved story and improved illustration of the people. It's almost ready.


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