cover image Boots and the Glass Mountain

Boots and the Glass Mountain

Claire Martin. Dial Books, $15 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1110-5

Stately prose and majestic artwork grace the pages of this Norwegian fairy tale, which may be read as a male Cinderella story. Forced by his brothers to guard the crops on Midsummer's Night (when the trolls descend), Boots discovers and tames dazzling steeds bedecked--in successive years--in copper, silver and gold. The king, meanwhile, is tricked by an evil troll into establishing a competition for his daughter's hand. All suitors fail except for a mysterious horseman who appears on a copper-, then a silver- and finally a gold-saddled steed. In true fairy-tale fashion and splendor Boots is revealed as the horseman and transformed from farm boy into prince. Martin's ( The Race of the Golden Apples ) measured narration, well suited to read-aloud enjoyment, is tinged with romance, mystery and drama. Spirin's elegant paintings (each bordered by a gold frame and flecked with gold throughout) bring the story's disparate elements to life in glorious detail. With his typically lush approach to settings and apparel, the artist portrays the heraldic colors of royal pageantry, the muscular prowess of wild steeds and the gruesomeness of hairy trolls. A stunning display of artistry. Ages 4-8. (June)