The Three Golden Keys

by Sis, Peter. (Doubleday, 1994 ISBN 0 385 47292 7) Picture Book. 62 pages. Grades 3+.
This book was reviewed by Carol Otis Hurst in Teaching K-8 Magazine.


Peter Sis wrote this picture book for his daughter on her birth to tell her of his childhood in Europe. This is an auto-biography disguised as a fairy tale. Peter Sis is transported back to his native city of Prague. There he finds his childhood home behind a door with three locks. He follows a cat through the city, recalling details of his childhood, to the library, the Emperor's garden, and the town hall clock. In each of these places he is given a scroll containing a story or legend of Prague and one Key. Returning to his childhood home he uses the keys to unlock the door to hear hismother's voice and his own voice calling to his daughter. The book is full of allusions to art masterpieces, many of which are half-hidden in the illustrations as are cat images in this intriguing picture book for older readers.


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