Picture Books Jan Mark The Midas Touch

ISBN 13: 9780763604882

The Midas Touch

3.79 avg rating
( 14 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780763604882: The Midas Touch

A retelling of the classic story of King Midas, who foolishly wishes that everything he touch be turned to gold, and only then realizes his horrible mistake

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From Library Journal:

Grade 2-5-This is a slightly different version of the story than the one with which most readers are familiar. Most notably, there is no daughter whom Midas turns into gold. While the omission of this important character lessens the poignancy of the tale, Mark retells the story with a poet's voice. For example, she describes the ears of the king being filled "...with a glittering tinkling sound as the motes in the air touched his skin and fell as gold dust to the golden floor. Truly he had the golden touch." Beyond the language, a particularly distinctive and effective element of this book is the design. Each double-page spread is dominated by a border that re-creates Greek-tile mosaic art. Centered within the mosaic pattern of leaves and bunches of grapes are rectangular boxes that contain the text on the left and the illustrations on the right. As the story progresses, the shade of the mosaic pattern becomes increasingly yellow, and then, finally, gold. The watercolor art deftly portrays the characters in the drama. Wijngaard perfectly captures Dionysus's amusement at the foolishness of mortals, as well as Midas's anguish. However, librarians looking for a retelling of the tale as most people know it would be better served by Charlotte Craft's King Midas and the Golden Touch (Morrow, 1999). Mark's offering is a good choice for libraries looking for more than one rendering of this classic myth.
Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

As have so many others this season, Mark (The Tale of Tobias, 1996, etc.) retells the terrifying story of King Midas and the lesson of greed. King Midas is good king, but his desire for gold tempts him to accept the offer from Dionysus of a solitary wish. He acquires his golden touch only to learn that it can't replace the joys of eating delicious food or watching living things grow. Omitted entirely from this version is any mention of Midas's daughter; the focus is the loss of physical pleasureseating, clothing, etc.that is behind his desire to have the wish overturned. The intricate mosaic patterns of the illustrations shift from multi- colored to golden as the world of King Midas is transformed, until even the dust in the air that lands on him turns to gold dust. The introduction's discussion of satyrs, hamadryads, and centaurs sets up a supernatural tone that differentiates this from many other versions of the story. (Picture book/folklore. 5-9) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Jan Mark, Juan Wijngaard (Illustrator)
Published by Candlewick (1999)
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