Happy Thread the Needle Day!
Rumpelstiltskin retold and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky (1996)
Winner of the Caledocott Honor Award, this retelling of the classic Grimm Brother’s fairy tale, is beautiful and magical. As Rumpelstiltskin threads the needle with straw, the miller’s daughter is saved. But when he comes back to collect on her promise, she pleads for mercy. She has only three days to guess his name or she must give up her first born child to him.
This story is a beautiful adaptation of another classic Grimm Brother’s fairy tale. When the poor shoemaker and his wife have nothing left but enough leather to make one pair of shoes, the elf tailors come in the middle of the night to do quick work of the shoemaker’s task. After several nights, the shoemaker and his wife stay awake to see who is doing all this work for them. To repay their kindness, the shoemaker and his wife make the elves tiny shoes, stockings, pants, coats, and hats to keep themselves warm. The elves were so pleased with their gifts, they put them on immediately and left the house singing and dancing, never to be heard from again.
A funny twist on a familiar Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, the Emperor in this story is an emperor penguin! The Emperor is so fond of his fine clothes that he can almost always be found in his dressing room. One day two scoundrels come to town with a claim of making clothes that are invisible to anyone who is dishonest or simpleminded. Of course the Emperor commands them to make him a special suit so that he could tell who in his court is honest and wise. No one wants to admit that they cannot see the cloth, and so the Emperor goes out into his kingdom wearing absolutely no clothes. It was only the voice of a very small penguin who observed that the Emperor had no clothes, leaving everyone else feeling very foolish indeed.