Monday, May 6, 2019

Bibliophile's Corner

The King of the Golden River
by John Ruskin - illustrated by Quentin Blake

Flap Copy:
The King of the Golden River tells the tale of the Black brothers: the kind-natured eleven- year-old Gluck and his two nasty older brothers, Hans and Schwartz. For Gluck, play is cleaning the floors, and his education consists of a wholesome quantity of punches. One stormy evening, Gluck is left at home to prepare his older brothers’ dinner when an extraordinary-looking little man knocks at the door. Having been warned not to let anyone in, Gluck watches as the little old man stands drenched and shivering at the door. His soft heart tells him to ignore his brothers’ advice, and so Gluck’s encounter with the mysterious King of the Golden River begins. Appearing at first as a beggar, then the Southwest Wind, and finally as a dwarf, the King of the Golden River issues Gluck a challenge: to climb to the source of the Golden River and throw into the stream three drops of holy water. If he can achieve this, the river will turn to gold.

Ruskin’s Victorian tale—first published in 1842—of good’s triumph over evil is a gripping adventure for all ages, and is brought vividly to life in new, never-before-seen illustrations by the celebrated Quentin Blake.

My Thoughts:
While The King of the Golden River was first published in 1842, I found its message of kindness overcoming greed to be very relevant today. The exquisite illustrations by famed artist Quentin Blake make this Victorian tale, and beautiful book, a wonderful addition to every library. (Due to two references to physical discipline, I recommend that parents of young children read the book first to ascertain whether it is appropriate and acceptable for their child.) I highly recommend John Ruskin's The King of the Golden River to readers aged seven and up!

Click here to learn about the award-winning illustrator Quentin Blake.
Click here to learn about the Victorian writer and art critic John Ruskin.

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