Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pop-up Book: The Golden Apple

This lovely Pop-Up book is entitled The Golden Apple.
The book was illustrated by V. Kubasta, and published in 1972.

Seated on the left is the strange king. He has the power to know things before it happens. The power comes from the special meat he eats in private. The young servant, Robin, peers through the window, and notices the king eating a white snake. When Robin is told to take the plate away, he has a morsel, and immediately has the power to understand animals and birds.

The next day the queen has everyone look high and low for her missing ring.  She accuses Robin of taking the ring, and the king threatens him with punishment if the ring is not returned by morning. Robin, who is able to understand animals and birds, overhears some ducks talking.  It appears that one of the ducks swallowed the ring. Robin snatches up the duck, and goes immediately to the king. As a reward, Robin is granted one wish ~ to go out into the world.

The king gives Robin money, and he sets off to see the world. On the journey he helps three groups of animals ~ three fish who need help getting back into the pond, a colony of ants who need their burning hill to be extinguished, and three crows who need a drink of water. In return, they promise to help him someday.

At last he comes to another town. He hears the townspeople talking about Princess Helen. She will marry the man who can fulfill all of her dreams. Robin is up to the challenge, and her father, the king, says he must find the golden ring that Princess Helen tossed into the sea. If not, he will die. As fate would have it, the three fish Robin had helped earlier were there to assist him. They present him with a shell which houses the golden ring.

Next morning Robin meets and falls in love with the princess. "See, I have scattered corn all over the garden," says the princess, "pick up every piece by morning." Robin is discouraged, and sighs. It is too hot to work, and it is impossible to gather up every piece. Just then, Robin feels the ants on his leg. They set out to pick up every last piece. By morning they collect ten sacks of corn. "You have done well, Robin," says the princess, "but I will not marry you unless you bring me the golden apple."

Robin walks into the forest, hoping that his animal friends will aid him.  He hears voices. "Have you? Have you? What is it like? Golden?" There's a rustling sound, and then, "We have, we have. Who wants it?"

It's me, Robin! I want it!" At that, a huge golden apple drops beside him. His friends the birds fly away amongst the trees. Robin runs back to the castle with the apple, which he cuts in half and shares with the princess. "Robin, I will marry you," she promises. Their wedding is the biggest  you have seen, with singing and dancing and drinking. The party goes on for many day and people are still talking about it to this day.

The back cover ~
Murrays Sales and Service Co.
Cresta House 15
152 Holloway Road
London N7 8DE

Illustrations © 1972 by V. Kubasta
© 1972 by ARITA, Prague
Printed in Czechoslovkia

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