Abbeville Kids, 2014
In a distant land, a cruel king seeks only for absolute power. Upon hearing of a magician who not only has the power to tell the future, but is beloved of the people for his wisdom and kindness, the king determines to call this rival to the palace and kill him. However, when asked to predict the day of his own death, the clever magician replies that he will die on the same day as his king. The king, fearing for his own life, keeps the magician safe in his palace, under the pretext of asking the magician’s advice on running the kingdom. Thus begins a transformative journey for king and kingdom.
This original fairytale has all the timelessness and enduring nature of the folktales of the ages. Originally published in Spain, this picture book has it all: a satisfying story, an emotionally impactful message, and outstanding artwork. The sumptuous gold lettering of the text nicely sets off Gusti’s unique and subtle collages with their rich textures and colors. The moral messages of the story are refreshingly authentic as they explore compassion, forgiveness, wisdom, and the courage to open one's heart to love and change. Ages 4 and up.