Paul O. Zelinsky studied art at Yale University, where one of his instructors was Maurice Sendak. After graduating from Yale, Zelinsky attended the Tyler School of Art in both Philadelphia and Rome. He has illustrated the works of such authors as Avi, Beverly Cleary, and Jack Prelutsky. His illustrations for RUMPELSTILTSKIN earned that book a Caldecott Honor Award. Zelinsky's picture book, THE MAID AND THE MOUSE AND THE OLD ODD-SHAPED HOUSE, was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book, as was THE STORY OF MRS. LOVEWRIGHT AND PURRLESS HER CAT. He won the 1998 Caldecott Medal for his version of RAPUNZEL.
From the Publisher
Based primarily on the 1819 version of the Grimm brothers' story, this picture book tells the traditional tale of a young woman who, because of a foolish boast by her father, is forced by the king to spin straw into gold. Of course, the woman has no idea of how to spin straw into gold, but she is saved by a strange little man who agrees to complete the task in exchange for her necklace. The king is impressed--so impressed, in fact, that the next night he forces the woman to spin even more straw into gold, and once again the woman makes a trade with the stranger, and the task is again accomplished. By the third night, the woman has nothing left to trade with the odd man, and so she agrees to his offer: if he spins the straw into gold, she will give him her firstborn child. A year later, the woman, who has married the king, gives birth to a son--and the little man arrives to collect his payment. Heartbroken, she begs the man not to take her child, and he agrees--if she can guess his name. Will the queen be able to guess the man's name or will she be forced to give him her baby? Illustrated with oil paintings, which place the story in a late medieval setting, RUMPELSTILTSKIN is a 1987 Caldecott Honor Book.