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Long ago in a kingdom far away, Spinifix, the king's alchemist, labored in the dank cellar of the castle to find the secret of turning base metals into gold. The king had promised to share the wealth with Spinifix if he could produce gold before the Millenium. As the Millenium approached, Spinifix became obsessed with his quest for gold. Meanwhile, his young apprentice tried to open Spinifix's eyes to the richness of their kingdom--fields of golden flowers, goldfish in the rivers, the burnished orange sun--to no avail. The young apprentice knows that true gold--and the happiness it brings--lies within one's heart. With illustrations lush with the intricate detail that has become his trademark, Colin Thompson's fans will delight in searching out the critters and graphic surprises hidden no the pages of this medieval fantasy tale.
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"Children will have their eyes fill--and thoughts provoked--on every page of amusing details and visual pranks."--Kirkus Reviews on How to Live ForeverI
"A fantasy of exploration in exquisite, complicated illustration--Look very carefully--great richness here."--The New York Times Book Review on Looking for Atlantis
"The one's a crowd-pleaser." Publishers Weekly on The Tower to the SunFrom Publishers Weekly:
Thompson's (The Paradise Garden) latest picture book seethes with the kind of curious detail and odd visual juxtapositions that have become his trademark. This time, he fabricates a rather convoluted fairy tale about an obsessed alchemist. Given a deadline to find the secret of creating gold, Spinifex, the king's 19th alchemist, disregards the advice of his wise young assistantAwho returns with a catalyst of "sunshine, canaries, marigolds," and who agrees with the cook's daughter that "the only true gold is what's in your heart." The results of the experiments are disastrous for Spinifex, but they ultimately bring contentment to the kingdom. In the end, even the king comes to believe that there are more important things than gold, though this climactic realization takes place offstage. Thompson fans will care little about how thinly the plot hangs together, since the instructive tale takes place within a fantastical visual framework. Cross-sections of dungeons and castles reveal layers of nooks and crannies inhabited by mechanical objects that sprout hands and legs; eyeballs peering out from dark corners; and elfinlike creatures emerging from pockets. A pastoral sweep of farmland camouflages homes nestled in overstuffed armchairs and flying books in place of birds. Savvy older readers will note the sly asides on the spine of a book ("The Spy Who Came in from the Gold") and a wine bottle's label ("Vin Gogh"), and on many a spreadAwhat has become a running sight gag in Thompson's oeuvreAthe ubiquitous "Caf? Max," with its red-checked curtains, tucked in like a cheeky footnote. Ages 8-10. (July)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0375801561
Book Description Knopf Books for Young Readers. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0375801561 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0118045