King Midas and the Golden Touch by Charlotte Craft
Illustrated by K.Y. Craft
Genre: Children’s Book – Fairy Tales
Pages: 32 Paperback 10.9 x 8.5
Date Published: October 23, 2003 (orig. April 1999)
Publisher: William Morrow
“There once lived a very rich king called Midas
who believed that nothing was more precious than gold.”
So begins this imaginative and breathtaking retelling of the myth of the man with the golden touch. When a mysterious stranger offers to reward Midas for a kindness, the king does not hesitate: He wishes that all he touches would turn to gold. To his delight, his wish is granted and he soon sets about transforming his ordinary palace into a place of golden beauty. But to his dismay, when he accidentally turns his beloved daughter into a golden statue, Midas learns that what at first seems a blessing can also become a curse.
This is a beautiful book. Recommended on multiple lists, but specifically on the third grade read aloud lists for Memoria Press curriculum and I look forward to that. We found it at the library, and I am ready to blindly trust their lists, because everything they suggest is worth buying for our own shelves. K.Y. Craft is an artist that I stumbled upon by accident when I saw a gorgeous book in the library, it was Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave, which is another one on our to-buy list. King Midas and the Golden Touch is beautiful as I said and I definitely would go for more stories told by Charlotte Craft. I’m not sure that I knew this book before, but I did know the story and this is a gorgeous way to read it. With large images and small to adorn the pages as well as some full two page spreads that continue to tell the story with images instead of words in parts is amazing and powerful for the readers. While right now I was reading this for my own benefit and not to my girls, I am quite sure that they will love it. I will not hesitate to buy this one when I find the right price.
Charlotte Craft studied comparative literature at Columbia University in New York. After graduating, she traveled to Japan, where she worked as an interpreter and photographer. She now lives in Scotland with her family. The New York Times complimented her first book, Cupid and Psyche, for its “clear, simple text” and noted that the book a “excels in conveying the mythology.”
In addition to Cupid and Psyche, she is also the illustrator of Marianna Mayer’s Pegasus, Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave, and The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Ms. Craft lives in Connecticut.
Kinuko Y. Craft has won more than one hundred graphic-arts awards, including three gold medals from the Society of Illustrators, and her paintings have appeared regularly on the covers of such national publications as Time and Newsweek. Says Kirkus Reviews, a “Every detail of her work — the flowers by a spring, a red cloak unfurled against a blue sky, moonlight on a tiger’s back is beautifully rendered.”
Kinuko Y. Craft, illustrator of Cupid and Psyche and Pegasus, by Marianna Mayer, lives in Norfolk, Connecticut.