From School Library Journal Grade 1-4-The story of Midas is a prescription we need filled regularly. This version, livelier in text as well as in its graphics than Charlotte and Kinuko Craft's King Midas (Morrow, 1999), takes off from Nathaniel Hawthorne's A Wonder Book, with its emphasis on the child Marygold. Stewig uses deft, direct language, moving at a faster pace than Craft without any sacrifice of significance. The real lure, however, is the artwork. Rayyan's imagination is playful and sophisticated. The delicately color-washed, light-struck paintings combine an expressionistic, almost cartoonish Midas, beautifully detailed architectural and other allusions to the antique, and a host of whimsically anachronistic touches. Dionysus/Pan is a Klimt-Beardsley hybrid, Midas eats 'Plato Poseidon Puffs' for breakfast, and guest appearances by the Frog Prince and a host of mythological minor characters enliven every page. There's also a discreetly hidden plug for the artist's last book, The Ring of Truth (Holiday, 1997). Teasing details require study, but the time spent is repaid by the grace, intelligence, and wit of the artwork.Patricia Lothrop-Green, St. George's School, Newport, RICopyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. Read more From Kirkus Reviews A polished, poignant retelling of a familiar legend and its worthy moral, that some things in life are worth more than their weight in gold. Greed drives King Midas when a mysterious stranger decides to grant his wish for a golden touch; too late the king realizes that everything he touchesroses, bed sheets, food, coffee, his beloved daughterturns to cold yellow metal. By the time the stranger reappears, Midas is more than ready to return his gift. Rayyan's illustrations create a rich, busy background for the events; harpies, sphinxes, and satyrs scurry around, while careful observers will spot Icarus plunging toward the earth at the same moment that Midas transforms his daughter, Marygold. Such wonderful details bind the art and the text with perfect alacrity, ensuring that this book will not be long on the shelves. (Picture book/folkore. 5-9) -- Copyright ?1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. Read more See all Editorial Reviews
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