The Cost of Gold

A True Fairytale

Children - Coming of Age
48 Pages
Reviewed on 08/14/2017
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Cost of Gold: A True Fairy Tale is a children’s coming of age tale written by Daniel Mault and illustrated by Jessie Miller. The narrator of this fable was sitting in a coffee shop with a pad, pencils, and pens laid by and ready for action, thinking about the next story he would find and write. His musings were interrupted when an older woman approached him. Hearing that he was searching for an idea for a new book, she offered to tell him a story about a boy, a girl and a tiny golden frog. He gladly acquiesced, and the woman sat down. With her hands cupping a warm teacup, she began.

Once, there was a girl and a boy who lived with their parents in a little cottage. They were very poor, but the family felt rich beyond compare, because they had each other. The two siblings had daily chores and responsibilities that kept them busy from sunup to sundown. Sometimes, the girl would gaze over the hills to where a fairy tale castle stood. She liked to wonder what it would be like to be a princess and live in a castle. She thought it would be grand to have time to play and sometimes sleep a little later in the morning. Then, she saw him -- the golden frog. The frog had the answer to everything she had been daydreaming about; he offered her a castle, riches, and servants to do all the work she and her brother had to do, but it all came with one catch.

Daniel Mault’s coming of age fable for children, The Cost of Gold: A True Fairy Tale, is an enchanting tale about a price too great to be paid, even for the riches of a kingdom and a life of leisure and enjoyment. Jessie Miller’s illustrations are marvelous, and they work brilliantly with this tale about two hard-working children who suddenly have the life they’ve dreamed of, yet find it wanting. The Cost of Gold has it all: a magical, talking frog, a fabulous golden castle and the solution to the harshness of poverty and hard work. Mault’s story is a perfect selection for story time, but do allow plenty of time for young listeners to enjoy the rich and lovely artwork that accompanies the text. It’s also a suitably challenging text for advanced young readers to try on their own. The Cost of Gold: A True Fairy Tale is most highly recommended.

Joel R. Dennstedt

A good children’s book, like The Cost of Gold by Daniel Mault and Jessie Miller, requires the development of many subtle and highly difficult proficiencies; the primary being a compelling story with engaging illustrations. Additionally, the story and the illustrations are dependent on each other. A consistency of voice and sight is what compels the child’s rapt attention. The illustrations in The Cost of Gold are truly lovely. An almost graphic sense of style lends a subtle sense of constructive form and origin, but a blanket of consistent softness hides any evidence of rigidity, while a marvelous and powerful radiant inner light suffuses each pastel-colored scene, evoking always the defining warmth of life. These skillful illustrations compel and provoke the most attention from this book.

The moralistic story told in The Cost of Gold is a good one, relating and proclaiming the intangible virtues of friendship and family over the concrete perils of materialistic greed. A young boy and his sister are presumably offered “the keys to the kingdom” by a magic golden frog who speaks only to the girl. The one requirement to attain such riches is to leave mom and dad behind. The story told in combination with such exquisite illustrations would be better served by sharing their utter self-containment – each picture worth more than the verbal paragraph meant to describe what is going on. The characters are engaging and the story has a good foundation. Daniel Mault and Jessie Miller have partnered to create a children’s book highly appealing to the young audience they seek.

Kristen Van Kampen (Teen Reviewer)

The Cost of Gold ( A True Fairytale) by Daniel Mault is a breathtaking fairytale that follows a writer thinking of a story. An elderly woman sits down and begins to tell him the tale of what she believes happened in her childhood. Her story is about a sister and brother, named Maggie and Henry, who have always been poor, never having enough food or clothes. One day, Maggie meets a golden frog that promises her riches beyond her wildest dreams on two conditions: that she leaves her parents, and that she tells no one but her brother about it. She and her brother leave home, and arrive at a castle, and are treated like royalty. But they still miss their parents. Will they ever see them again?

I really enjoyed reading The Cost of Gold ( A True Fairytale) by Daniel Mault. The book is very well written and descriptive. The story teaches that gold isn't always what makes you rich; sometimes it's the people around you. The story is meaningful and beautiful. The story is very creative and imaginative, exciting and interesting. The pictures, by Jessie Miller, are very well drawn and beautiful and help to clearly depict each scene. I like how the story has two different stories: the elderly woman and the author, and Maggie and Henry. The characters are very likeable, and readers will find that they are able to relate to them. I would definitely recommend this book to all young readers.