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Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin

Last updated Thursday, May 18, 2017

Author: Liesl Shurtliff
Date of Publication: 2013
ISBN: 0307977935
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: May 2017

Synopsis: In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse. To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.

Note to readers:
•  Read the inside cover to the kids before reading the book. Read Chapters 1-2, then skip to Chapter 6. Chapters 3-4 introduce you to other characters in the book (the Miller and his daughter, Opal, who also owns a spinning wheel) who are not relevant unless you read the whole book.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Vocabulary: destiny--fate, a predetermined end; midwife--a person who helps with the birth of a child; menacing--threatening; translucent--semitransparent; sluice--a device to control the flow of water, rinsing with water; lopsided--one side lower or smaller than the other, disproportionate, uneven; addled--unable to think clearly, confused.
•  Do you know the story of Rumpelstiltskin? (A Grimm Fairy tale of a small man who spins gold and requests the first born son of the queen)
•  What is the difference between a fairy tale and a short story? (A fairy tale is situated in the past in an imagined, unfamiliar land, with magical creatures and people. A short story is situated in the present or in the familiar past (historical story) with places and events known or familiar to the reader.
•  What fairy tale icons do you see on the front cover? (castle, fairies, pixies, witch in the window, gnarled trees)

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why do you think Grandma and Red warn Rump about the spinning wheel?
•  What bad thinks could happen to Rump if he continues to turn straw into gold?
•  Red is a young girl who likes to go into the woods. What fairy tale is also about a young girl who goes into the forest? (Little Red Riding Hood)

Craft ideas:
•  Make a mother's day card.
•  Make a pixie. Cut out fairy/butterfly wings from construction paper and color them. Separately, cut out the shape of a body and attach the wings.
•  Make a name plate for your room. Write your name in large block letters on a piece of paper, lengthwise. Color in the block letters. Around your name write or draw pictures of your destiny, places you will visit, things you will do, objects you will acquire, people who are important to you.
•  Check our craft ideas for May on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!