This is a retelling of the famous children's "fairy" tale, first presented by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 19th century. A young mother has to guess a gnome's name (he had been spinning straw into gold for her) in order to prevent him from taking her new-born babe. This book was a 1987 Caldecott Honor book (i.e., a runner-up to the Medal winner) for best illustrations in a book for children. Paul Zelinsky did considerable research to follow the original version of the tale and his art reflects the time period of the story. It is a beautiful book.