The Three Golden Keys

The Three Golden Keys World renowned artist brings the magic of Prague and its legends to lifeIn this allegorical tale a man in a hot air ballon is thrown off course in a violent storm landing him in the city of his yout

  • Title: The Three Golden Keys
  • Author: Peter Sís
  • ISBN: 9780374375256
  • Page: 498
  • Format: Hardcover
  • World renowned artist brings the magic of Prague and its legends to lifeIn this allegorical tale, a man in a hot air ballon is thrown off course in a violent storm, landing him in the city of his youth He finds the way to his old home, but the house is dark, with three rusty padlocks on the door A black cat with eyes of fire appears and leads him through Prague s silentWorld renowned artist brings the magic of Prague and its legends to lifeIn this allegorical tale, a man in a hot air ballon is thrown off course in a violent storm, landing him in the city of his youth He finds the way to his old home, but the house is dark, with three rusty padlocks on the door A black cat with eyes of fire appears and leads him through Prague s silent streets and monuments in seach of the three golden keys that will open the door of his boyhood home and restore the city to life In this reissue of one of his most personal works, Peter S s recaptures the wonder of his own lost childhood in Prague and celebrates the city s wonderful cultural heritage, reborn after forty five years of Communist rule He wrote it for his young daughter, Madeleine, who is growing up in the New World, so that when she is old enough to understand it she will have a record of the strange and wonderful heritage that is her birthright An utterly magical book on every level.

    One thought on “The Three Golden Keys”

    1. I find it hard to believe that this book has only 300 ratings on here, when its been around for 15+ years. Such is the unfortunate case tho, I guess, with picture books on a literary social media site. Novels and collections and non-fiction get 90% of the attention. No matter tho; that has no bearing on this one! I am glad to have finally read this tonight for multiple reasons:1- it's an excellent story. Some big words strewn about the minimal text give it more depth, the pictures are wonderful, [...]

    2. Not sure how I've managed not to read any of Peter Sís's work before. His drawings are amazingrreal, whimsical, and engrossing. I just love his style, which also happens to capture the essence of Prague so well. I felt like I was there again.Sís references a few of Giuseppe Arcimboldo's paintings, which is amusing. It's kind of a sneaky way to insert some art history, although he doesn't go further than saying he recognizes the character from an "old painting". An enterprising parent could of [...]

    3. I found this book in peter sis's former house in Prague (Which is now a lovely tea house - the front door has been inscribed with "Tea is not dead") which added to the magic if anything. At the time I read through it and considered picking up a copy (I don't even know if they sold them there and we had very few crowns on us).The book evokes so much of prague, it's windy old town streets, the buildings that have been tacked on to buildings, the legends that have grown up in the city and even the [...]

    4. I picked this up on my way through glorious Prague as a memento, thinking it would be a fun introduction to Czech folklore for my class of seven-year-olds. It kept them mesmerised as I read it, but I don't think any of it sunk in. It's a little dark and the concepts of reflection and regret are too high for young children. This is a picture book for adults, or perhaps older children than what I teach, littered with hidden hints and detail, and the references to the folk stories are really for so [...]

    5. A beautiful, intricately illustrated book. Explores themes of loss, homecoming, and cultural identity. And fairy tales. Wonderful fairy tales.

    6. The illustrations are really intricate, and they're full of cats in some really clever ways.Part of the problem I had with this book is that it contains three additional picture books within the frame story, which has a weird effect on the pacing. It also makes this a really difficult read-aloud. The three embedded stories were in cursive in the center of one page with small illustrations bordering the page. (The cursive text is split into numbered sentences/phrases/paragraphs, corresponding to [...]

    7. In my opinion, this is a picture book for adults, not for children.It contains 3 traditional stories about Prague within a frame story of a dream trip to Prague.The illustrations are amazingly intricate with lots of detail that isn't always obvious at first. My favorite is the picture of the streets of Prague from above, showing the outline of a cat.

    8. Nice change to read a book in a day , instead of a week ! Sis does a remarkable job of representing his native Prague through Czech legends and amazing illustrations .

    9. I think that this book is beautiful, but I didn't understand it. It's more like a fairy tale, than a fable. A story of adventure framing the story of a homeland. I think that I struggle with it because I can't define it. What exactly is it? A heartfelt tale of home.

    10. Interesting story written by the author for his daughter Madeline, to tell her about the history of Prague, Czech Republic and the author's stories and memories from the city he grew up in. He has been in the US since 1982, before the fall of Communism in Prague. The author was traveling in a balloon when it falls down into the city. He finds his old house, but it has three locks on the outside preventing him from getting inside. His old black cat suddenly appears and leads him around the city, [...]

    11. Take a walk through the Prague of Peter Sis's childhood and learn of some of the folktales/myths with which he grew up. I'm really getting sucked into Sis's artwork, even though I hated it in The Wall. I don't really know who his intended audience is, besides an adult daughter, but this certainly isn't a children's book. This falls under the "picture books for adults" genre, I'd say (although it's not a graphic novel). After reading these picture books, I think, "Well, that was interesting." And [...]

    12. Peter Sis again tackles the subject of his childhood in Prague (also the subject of The Wall: Life behind the Iron Curtain), but this time focussing more on the positive, on the magical atmosphere that Prague with all its history and winding streets has. Part memories, part fairytale and all magical, it is a fantastic book that for me has more signifigant meaning. I purchased my copy in a little bookshop off of Wenslas square after staying a summer to teach English in Prague. I love seeing the l [...]

    13. So fun. Excellent illustrations. This makes me yearn to walk the streets of Prague which was entirely my goal, as I'll be there a week from now! I have a ritual of reading a book set in the city that is my destination when I go on a trip. I have really enjoyed that as it helps solidify things in my mind and makes me feel more excited to travel and more connected. I was disappointed that life's craziness and procrastination didn't allow for me to read a 'book' this time. But this was perfect (and [...]

    14. I hesitate to put this in my children's category, although it is definitely a picture book. It was really cool for me to read, but my pre-schooler would get impatient as I searched the details, or read the story (each of which was long) behind each key. He did enjoy looking for the cat motifs in each page. I would recommend it for older kids.

    15. Sis tells the story of a man rediscovering Prague. As he walks the streets, he searches for keys that will open the door to his childhood home. With each key he is reminded of a story associated with the city. I enjoyed this book because I love walking the streets of Prague myself. I'm not sure if I would have been as engaged if I hadn't had that personal connection.

    16. This is a lovely and poetic book for children with longer attention spans. There is much metaphor and imagination to be found on each page, and the story is incredibly captivating. I like that the text is located on the bottom of the page or the side of it, thereby giving more attention to the illustrations. There is so much more in this book than the words describe!

    17. As always, the pictures do not disappoint in this work by Peter Sis. What a great idea to write this as a way for his daughter to have something of her culture in Prague. Students could use this as a way to begin thinking about what they might tell their children about their own childhood customs.

    18. Equal parts Prague travelogue, personal memoir and fairy tale, this is a beautifully whimsical tale that reminds me of the film MirrorMask. Loved the transformation of the city into a giant cat. Clever and captivating. I look forward to visiting Prague one day and discovering it for myself.

    19. it reminds me of Pamuk's accounts of Istanbul. Interspersed with mysterious imagery and a narrative that whispers the tales of a long-left homeland,this book is an exquisite work of love,longing and things in between

    20. This is Peter Sis at his finest, weaving memoir and legends from his childhood in Prague into one glorious picture book. The illustrations are quintessential Sis, gloriously complicated and beautiful.

    21. Check out this artist. Peter Sis has written and illustrated numerous gorgeous picture books. Andhe designed the tile work at the subway stop ot 86th and Lexington in NYC. Check that out, too!

    22. A walk through Prague remembering childhood tales and delights while searching for three golden keys. Beautiful story and artwork.

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