Music for the Tsar of the Sea, 1998 first edition, by Celia Barker Lottridge.


Written by Celia Barker Lottridge. Illustrated by Harvey Chan. First edition, 1998. A Groundwood Book. Douglas & McIntyre. Toronto, Vancouver, Buffalo.

Front Flap

"Sadko is poor in everything but music. He makes his living as an itinerant musician. One day, while playing by the shores of Lake Ilmen, the calm waters part to reveal a giant figure of a man. Sadko realizes that this is the Tsar of the Sea, ruler of all underwater realms. The Tsar is so impressed with Sadko's playing that he offers him a gift if he will promise to come and play for him in his palace under the sea.

"The Tsar's gift, a coffer filled with gold and jewels, allows Sadko to become a rich merchant. He travels the world over and forgets his promise to the Tsar."

Sadko eventually is forced to play at the Tsar's palace, but when the strings of his gusli break, the Tsar allows him to return to Novgorod for repairs, accompanied by a daughter of his choice who would return him to the palace. Sadko chooses Volkova, who wears a beautiful blue lapis lazuli necklace. Before they leave, she has him rest, but he awakes outside the walls of Novgorod, beside a river that had not been there before, and he catches a glimmer of a lapis necklace. Sadko never returns to the Caspian Sea or to the Tsar's palace, and Volkova never returns home. Instead, he sailed the great river Volkov, and "played for the river that loved his songs."

Celia Barker Lottridge (1936 - ) is a Canadian children's writer. She worked as a librarian and a teacher in various places before becoming a book buyer for a children's bookstore in Toronto. She has written and retold many books for children, including folktales, historical novels, picture books and stories from the Bible. Some of her awards include the Geoffrey Bilson Award, the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award and Mr. Christie's Book Award.

Harvey Chan (1955 - ) is a renowned author and illustrator of children's books. He was born in Hong Kong and moved to Canada with his family when he was nine years old. He has illustrated over 20 books, including The Magical Life of Mr. Renny and The Jade Necklace. He has also written and illustrated his own books, such as Ghost Train and My Name is Number 4. He has won several awards for his work: the Governor General's Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award.
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Condition: Very Good/Very Good. Dust jacket: Moderate shelf wear with light ruffling along edges; on the front, small closed tear, upper left. Illustrated cover boards. Small erasure on front fly leaf. Pages are clean, undamaged, and complete.

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