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by George MacDonald, illustrated by Ruth Sanderson

Signed first edition hardcover of The Golden Key, a Victorian fairy tale written by George MacDonald. I divided this long fairytale in chapters, and created a 135-page chapter book with over 40 scratchboard illustrations.


Gr 3–7—This classic, enigmatic Victorian fairy tale of two children who find, lose, and then find each other again as they search for "the place from which the shadows fall" is given a new treatment by Sanderson. The artist has divided the work into nine short chapters and illustrated it with more than 45 bold black-and-white scratchboard pictures. Mossy discovers the key he has heard about in his great-aunt's stories and is charged with locating the lock into which it fits; Tangle, a neglected orphan, follows a magical fish to a hidden cottage where a beautiful woman takes her in and lovingly cares for her. Here the two meet and venture on a quest, developing a deep friendship, then losing each other, until, with the help of special beings and magical creatures, they are reunited in a new life. Unlike Maurice Sendak's soft, evocative illustrations in an older edition (Farrar, 1967), Sanderson's is deeply textured and dramatic, enhancing the vivid imagery of the narrative with many full pages and spreads. An afterword by Jane Yolen provides a snapshot of MacDonald's life and explores her experience of the story over time. An illustrator's note describes how Sanderson came to reformat and pictorially interpret the mysterious tale. Young readers may be puzzled by the narrative but will likely enjoy the magic, intriguing characters, and richly detailed illustrations; older readers may recognize religious or metaphorical elements. VERDICT A lovely addition for fairy-tale collections.—Marie Orlando, formerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

"Richly described and illustrated. . . . Sanderson's dramatic black and white scratchboard illustrations bring grace and depth to this old story." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Sanderson's black-and-white illustrations play on the story's motif of light and darkness as she skillfully depicts the children's journey through fairyland. . . . Beautifully presented." - Booklist

Out of Print, limited quantity available.
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