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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5

on October 11, 2017
Excellent story, beautifully illustrated. Tells a tale of courage and loyalty in the face of greed and power. Beautiful illustrations. My grand children (ages 5 and 7) love it.
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on December 4, 2012
I was so pleased when I found this book.. The book ia a little bit worn, but in good shape.. suites this Grandmother's needs.
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on December 7, 2003
This gracefully told tale, woven from strands of both Chinese and Norwegian folktales, is a visual and verbal delight. The setting is fifteenth-century Europe. Anna, a weaver, creates brocaded cloth to support herself and her three sons. One night Anna dreams "of a place more beautiful than any she had ever seen. A white marble mansion stood surrounded by exquisite gardens. Birds flew among ancient oak trees and sang in orchards and grape arbors. A stream wound through rolling hills." It looks, to Anna, like paradise. She decides to weave a picture of it.
After three long years, Anna completes the tapestry. As she stands admiring her handiwork, a gust of wind carries the cloth away. Her eldest son, Leon, leaves to search for the tapestry. He is told by a hermit that the cloth has been taken by fairies to the Crystal Mountain. The hermit describes to Leon the terrible obstacles he must endure to get to the mountain and then offers him a bag of gold to aid in his quest. But instead of heading for the mountain, Leon takes the gold and goes to the city.
When Leon does not return home, Blaine, his younger brother, goes in search of the tapestry. He too comes across the hermit. And he too takes the bag of gold and escapes to the city instead of continuing on to the mountain.
Finally, Perrin, the youngest son, goes off to search for his brothers and the tapestry. Perrin too finds the hermit. But instead of giving Perrin a bag of gold, the hermit hands him a silver whistle. "Blow this when you have need," he tells the young man.
Perrin sets off, determined to surmount the obstacles. He rides through a firely plain, across an icy sea, and up the sheer sides of the Crystal Mountain.
Will Perrin find the tapestry? Will he be able to return home? I will not spoil the ending for you, expcept to say that it is eminently satisfying.
The oil paintings which illustrate this tale are stunning, allowing the reader to feel as if she could walk right into the picture.
Simply enchanting. Highly recommended.
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on October 5, 2002
If it were up to me, I'd make sure every single children's bookshelf had at least one of Ruth Sanderson's wonderful books. Her stories are simple, sweet, and yet thought-provoking, and her illustrations are clear, uncluttered and utterly beautiful. 'The Crystal Mountain' is no exception, and definitely up there as one of her best works.
As she did with 'The Golden Mare, the Firebird and the Magic Ring', Sanderson ingeniusly combines more than one fairy or folk tale to create a story that is both new and familiar. In this case she borrows from the Chinese story - 'The Magic Brocade' and the traditional Norwegian tale of 'The Princess on the Glass Hill', to tell the tale of Anna, a famous seamstress who has a dream that she is determined to create on her loom. When the beautiful tapestry of her Eden-like house and garden is complete, it is unfortunatly stolen away by the fairies so that they might make a copy. Anna is desparate to have her precious tapestry back and so sends her three sons Leon, Blaine and Perrin out after it. Though Leon and Blaine soon give up on their quests, Perrin journeys on with the aid of three magical horses till he reaches the Crystal Mountain, and the fairies within...
As the editorial review noted, it is not simply a mere 'happily ever after' finish, but ends on a note that lets one's mind drift on the possibilites, and for a nice change it is the female who decides her own fate (ie the Fairy of Red *chooses* to stay with Perrin, rather than him just carry her off) and the two elder brothers aren't punished for their sloth, but rather are forgiven.
Overall, this book is a must for fairytale lovers, a wonderful addition to a children's library and delight for those who love beautiful picture books.
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on April 12, 2000
I just bought this book recently for my five year old son. Wehave enjoyed reading it together several times. I have always foundthat Ruth Sanderson books are a joy to read and the illustrations are wonderfully done, and best of all there is always a lesson to be learned. I would highly recommend not only The Crystal Mountain, but also The Enchanted Wood by Ruth Sanderson.
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