Grade 3-6. A poor but gifted musician draws the attention of the King of the Sea, who invites him to visit his palace under the sea. The ruler then becomes so taken with the young man's music that he insists Sadko stay and marry one of his daughters. The Sea Queen, however, whispers to Sadko that if he kisses or embraces his sea-wife, he will never be able to return home again. That evening he lies next to his bride, the Princess Volkhova, but never touches her. The next morning he awakes beside the River Volkhov in his beloved city of Novgorod. He becomes a rich merchant, marries, and raises a family, but whenever he plays his music near the river, he thinks he sees the Princess Volkhova raising her head out of the water to listen. This retelling retains the flavor of Old Russia. Shepard includes detailed notes about the story, his sources, and a brief pronunciation guide. Spirin's full-page watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations are lavish, highly decorative, and somewhat formal in their execution. Done in a palette of sepia-toned browns, reds, and blues, the pictures are highly stylized and reminiscent of a late 19th-century illustrative style. The depiction of the Sea King's family is interesting; while some of the undersea creatures are depicted as mermaids, the Sea King and his family wear traditional Russian dress and have legs and feet. Overall, this is a fascinating spin on mermaid/human interaction and should appeal to an older picture-book audience.?Denise Anton Wright, Illinois State University, Normal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
1997 New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Books of the Year
1998 American Library Association Notable Children's Books
1998 NCSS/CBC Notable Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies
1997 Aesop Accolade, American Folklore Society
1998 Honor Title, Storytelling World Awards
1997 Cincinnati Enquirer Best Illustrated Children's Books
American Bookseller Pick of the Lists
Starred review, Publishers Weekly
Featured on "CBS This Morning"
"Emotionally authentic prose and jewel-like illustrations make this an exquisite volume. . . . [A] mood of eloquent enchantment." -- Publishers Weekly, Aug. 25, 1997, starred review
"Exquisite." -- The New York Times Book Review, Oct. 26, 1997
"Knock-your-socks-off beautiful. . . . Will stay in a family's library forever." -- Valerie Lewis, "CBS This Morning," Dec. 11, 1997
"Retains the flavor of Old Russia. . . . A fascinating spin on mermaid/human interaction." -- Denise Anton Wright, School Library Journal, Dec. 1997
"The telling is descriptive yet very accessible. . . . The pictures are gorgeous and resplendent with extraordinary details." -- Stephanie Zvirin, American Library Association Booklist, Nov. 15, 1997
"Aaron Shepard proves once again that he is one of the finest authors working in the field of folktales today. Meticulous research and a respect for the story, as well as those who have told it, characterize all of Aaron's works. Set off by illustrations that are as wondrous and detailed as the story, this is a book that begs to be read aloud." -- Kip Nead, Growing Up, Nov. 1997
"Aaron's prose is both lyrical and storyteller-friendly, plus he includes excellent notes on his sources and the historical and cultural background of the story." -- Katy Rydell, Stories, Winter 1998
"Involving. . . . Stunning." -- Susie Wilde, WUNC-FM
"Lush language and Gennady Spirin's intricate watercolors make The Sea King's Daughter a feast for ear and eye." -- Mary Quattlebaum, Washington Parent, May 1998
"Rich. . . . This book will delight students of all ages." -- The Mailbox Bookbag, Aug.-Sept. 1998
"Shepard masterfully brings this story to a new audience." -- Janet Marnatti, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 15, 1998
"A satisfying story, beautifully illustrated." -- Marilyn Courtot, Children's Literature, June 1998
All at once the river grew rough, and strong waves began to slap the bank. "Heaven help me!" cried Sadko as a large shape rose from the water. Before him stood a huge man, with a pearl-encrusted crown atop a flowing mane of seaweed.
"Musician," said the man, "behold the King of the Sea. To this river I have come to visit one of my daughters, the Princess Volkhova. Your sweet music reached us on the river bottom, where it pleased us greatly."
"Thank you, Your Majesty," stammered Sadko.
"Soon I will return to my own palace," said the King. "I wish you to play there at a feast."
"Gladly," said Sadko. "But where is it? And how do I get there?"
"Why, under the sea, of course! I'm sure you'll find your way."
PICTURE BOOKS AND EASY READERS BY AARON SHEPARD
THE BAKER'S DOZEN: A Saint Nicholas Tale. Illustrated by Wendy Edelson. Van Amsterdam, the baker, is as honest as he can be -- but he may have something left to learn. Ages 4-13.
THE SEA KING'S DAUGHTER: A Russian Legend. Illustrated by Gennady Spirin. A poor musician is invited to play in the Sea King's palace, where he's offered more than riches. An A.L.A. Notable and N.Y. Times Best Illustrated. Ages 7 and up.
THE ADVENTURES OF MOUSE DEER: Tales of Indonesia and Malaysia. Illustrated by Kim Gamble. Mouse Deer is small, and many animals want to eat him -- but first they have to catch him! Ages 4-9.
THE LEGEND OF LIGHTNING LARRY. Illustrated by Toni Goffe. A cowboy with a huge smile, a gun that shoots bolts of light, and a hankering for lemonade takes on Evil-Eye McNeevil's outlaw gang. Ages 4-12.
THE LEGEND OF SLAPPY HOOPER: An American Tall Tale. Illustrated by Toni Goffe. Slappy is the world's biggest, fastest, bestest sign painter, but he's TOO GOOD -- his pictures keep coming to life. Ages 5-12.
ONE-EYE! TWO-EYES! THREE-EYES!: A Very Grimm Fairy Tale. Illustrated by Gary Clement. Two-Eyes is different from her sisters and others, because she has just two eyes. A New York Public Library selection for "Children's Books 2007: One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing." Ages 7-12.
KING O' THE CATS. Illustrated by Kristin Sorra. Peter is notorious for telling wild stories -- so who will believe him now, with his crazy claims about cats? A Junior Library Guild Selection. Ages 4-12.
THE PRINCESS MOUSE: A Tale of Finland. Illustrated by Leonid Gore. When a young man seeks a wife by way of family tradition, he finds himself engaged to a mouse. A New York Public Library selection for "Children's Books 2003: One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing." Ages 4-12.
THE MAGIC BROCADE: A Tale of China. Illustrated by Xiaojun Li. To save his mother's life, a young man must retrieve her weaving from the fairies of Sun Palace. Ages 4 and up.
LADY WHITE SNAKE: A Tale from Chinese Opera. Illustrated by Song Nan Zhang. When a thousand-year-old snake takes human form and marries for love, she must fight for both her marriage and her freedom. Ages 7 and up.
SAVITRI: A Tale of Ancient India. Illustrated by Vera Rosenberry. The princess Savitri must use all her wit and will to save her husband from the god of death. A California Collection selection. Ages 7 and up.
THE MAIDEN OF NORTHLAND: A Hero Tale of Finland, from the Kalevala. illustrated by Carol Schwartz. Two epic heroes vie with magic for the hand of a sorceress's daughter. An Aesop Accolade winner. Ages 9 and up.
MASTER MAID: A Tale of Norway. Illustrated by Pauline Ellison. When Leif goes to work for the troll, only the advice of a remarkable young woman can save him from his foolishness -- if only he'll listen! Ages 4 and up.
MASTER MAN: A Tall Tale of Nigeria. Illustrated by David Wisniewski. Shadusa thinks he's the strongest man in the world -- till he meets the real Master Man. Caldecott Award-winning illustrator! Ages 5 and up.
THE GIFTS OF WALI DAD: A Tale of India and Pakistan. Illustrated by Daniel San Souci. Wali Dad, a humble grass-cutter, never asked for wealth -- so why can't he give it away? An Aesop Accolade winner. Ages 4 and up.
THE CRYSTAL HEART: A Vietnamese Legend. Illustrated by Joseph Daniel Fiedler. The mandarin's daughter did not really see the boatman who sang from the river, but she's sure he's her destined love. A Bank Street College Best Children's Book. Ages 7 and up.
FORTY FORTUNES: A Tale of Iran. Illustrated by Alisher Dianov. When a young man's wife makes him pose as a fortuneteller, his success is unpredictable. Ages 7 and up.
THE ENCHANTED STORKS: A Tale of Bagdad. Illustrated by Alisher Dianov. The Calif and his Vizier try a spell that changes them into storks, then find they can't change back. Ages 7 and up.