After comparing several of the original Grimm variants, Zelinsky has selected and retold to make his own version. Graceful and lucid, it differs from the familiar in having the imp overheard crowing about his name by a servant rather than by the king, and by having him ride about and ultimately depart forever on a cooking spoon, a non-violent conclusion. Zelinaky's illustrations are opulently painted, full of classical architectural detail, fantastic distant landscapes, and that early use of perspective which gives a raked stage effect. Rumpelstiltskin is a bug-eyed, spindle-legged Machiavelli of an imp, dressed as a courtier. The miller's daughter/queen has the face of a madonna, although her expressions are contemporary enough to interest modern children in her plight. The king (not a savory character, since he was prepared to murder his wife if she failed to spin straw into gold) stays in the background. A distinguished edition of one of Grimm's favorite tales.