King Midas: The Golden Touch

Overview

King Midas is a proud and foolish king who loves gold above all else. In return for helping him one day, a satyr grants the king his dearest wish — all that he touches will turn to gold. For a time, the king enjoys his gift. But then the food he puts to his mouth turns to gold so he cannot eat. And the horse he mounts turns to gold so he cannot ride. And everyone he touches turns to gold so he no longer has any family or friends. He has all the gold he could ever want, but he's ...

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Overview

King Midas is a proud and foolish king who loves gold above all else. In return for helping him one day, a satyr grants the king his dearest wish — all that he touches will turn to gold. For a time, the king enjoys his gift. But then the food he puts to his mouth turns to gold so he cannot eat. And the horse he mounts turns to gold so he cannot ride. And everyone he touches turns to gold so he no longer has any family or friends. He has all the gold he could ever want, but he's not at all happy.
How King Midas learns his lesson and finds happiness is the heart of this classic Greek myth, brought to new life by award-winning artist Demi's own golden touch. Sparkling with the colors of the Aegean Sea and with the splendor of gold, this elegant and humorous retelling of an ancient myth will be cherished by readers of all ages.

A king finds himself bitterly regretting the consequences of his wish that everything he touches would turn to gold.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Mythical King Midas, ignorant and greedy, is cursed with donkey ears by the god Apollo for his misguided award in a music contest. When Dionysus offers him anything he desires in gratitude for the return of his pet satyr, Midas chooses to have everything he touches turn to gold. When he realizes that he cannot even eat, he consults an oracle to lift what he has found to be a curse. Afterward, he is a happier, wiser man. The human touch of his daughter turning to gold is missing in this version, but there is much information on classical mythology. The characters here are clothed in ancient Greek garments amid appropriate classical furniture and buildings. Each double-page scene is bordered with geometric patterns hinting of the period; the visuals would seem at home on a Greek amphora. The gestures are stylized; emotions barely shown. But the visuals are appealing with the abundant use of gold leaf, and the double foldout pages are striking. 2002, Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Demi's terse, choppy retelling will not appeal to those who like classic tales left intact, because nearly all that remains of the original story is the king's name and the golden touch itself. The reteller portrays King Midas as "weak and ignorant, miserly and greedy," a man who, when asked to judge a music contest between Apollo and Pan, chooses the less talented Pan as the victor, causing the angry Apollo to curse him with furry donkey's ears. Midas is granted the golden touch by the god Dionysus as a reward for returning Silenus the Satyr to him. The golden spell is broken when he visits an oracle, who tells him to bathe in the River Pactolus. Illustrations feature detailed gilded borders top and bottom-a different pattern on each spread. Gold highlights the clothing of the cartoon-faced, stylized characters, as well. Charlotte Craft's King Midas and the Golden Touch (Morrow, 1999), with its classic medieval-style oil-and-watercolor paintings by K. Y. Craft, and John Warren Stewig's King Midas (Holiday, 1999), populated by Omar Rayyan's whimsical creatures and caricature-faced Midas, are both skillful retellings of the myth in which the king realizes the folly of his wish after he turns his beloved daughter into gold.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"Golden touch" indeed: considering this illustrator's fondness for incorporating gold into her art, both in great solid swaths and as a major element in her famously intricate borders and finely detailed clothing, it's a wonder that she's taken so long to get to this tale. Here, she casts Midas as an empty-headed sort, who not only suffers from a carelessly phrased wish that "everything" he touches turns to gold, but also chooses poorly between Apollo's heavenly music and Pan's blatting, and so ends up with a pair of big, gray ass's ears. Crowned by a magnificent fold-out spread, the pictures are simply dazzling, with the richly dressed king, delicately drawn flora, fauna, and other figures both human and divine floating against deep, richly hued color fields. Repentant, Midas is able to wash off the golden touch at last-but, rather unkindly, Demi (Gandhi, 2001, etc.) leaves him his hairy ears. Sophisticated readers may prefer John W. Stewig's sardonic rendition (1999), but this version captures the tale's humor along with its point, and the illustrations really light up the room. (Folktale. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689832970
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 5/1/2002
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 413,351
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 510L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Demi is the award-winning creator of numerous books for children, including The Empty Pot; Buddha; The Dalai Lama; The Legend of Saint Nicholas; Gandhi, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and received an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award; and Muhammad, which was named a Kirkus Reviews Editors’ Choice selection, a Booklist Editors’ Choice selection, one of the Booklist Top Ten Religion Books for Youth, and a Book Links “Lasting Connections” selection, and was cited in a Publishers Weekly starred review as a “timely, exceptionally handsome biography [that] serves as an excellent introduction to Islam.” Demi lives in Carnation, Washington.

Demi is the award-winning creator of numerous books for children, including The Empty Pot; Buddha; The Dalai Lama; The Legend of Saint Nicholas; Gandhi, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and received an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award; and Muhammad, which was named a Kirkus Reviews Editors’ Choice selection, a Booklist Editors’ Choice selection, one of the Booklist Top Ten Religion Books for Youth, and a Book Links “Lasting Connections” selection, and was cited in a Publishers Weekly starred review as a “timely, exceptionally handsome biography [that] serves as an excellent introduction to Islam.” Demi lives in Carnation, Washington.

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