The Sea King’s Daughter [Aaron Shepard]

Sadko the musician loved his city of Novgorod, the richest and most free in all Russia. With its great feasts, its white stone churches, its merchant visitors from many lands, Sadko felt there was no better place to be. Yet he was lonely too, for the rich young ladies who danced to his music would never favor anyone so poor.

One night he takes his twelve-string gusli and goes alone to play by the River Volkhov. Suddenly from the water rises the Sea King, who invites the astonished musician to play at his underwater palace. But how will Sadko get there? And how will he get back? And will he want to return at all, when he meets the Sea King’s lovely daughter?

One of the most popular legends of Russia, Sadko’s story is found in medieval epic ballads, as well as in a popular opera by Rimsky-Korsakov. It is retold here in elegant prose, complemented by the entrancing illustrations of a modern Russian master.

My thoughts on the book: The Sea King’s Daughter is a lovely Russian tale about a famous legendary figure, Sadko, a merchant-musician who finds himself playing for the Sea King in his deep-sea kingdom. Delighted by his music, the Sea King offers him one of his daughters in marriage. Torn between his love for Novgorod, his hometown, and the promise of love from this beautiful princess, Sadko must decide which world he wants to live in.

This reedition is a beautiful picture book. Not only are the illustrations beautiful and vivid, the text is also well written and easily understandable by the youngest. It is a very well-crafted children’s book that will appeal to both kids and adults.

I particularly enjoyed the notes at the end of the book. It gives the reader more historical and cultural background about this Russian tale.

My Score: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 

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