The Enchanted Chest

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 May 2018

Member Reviews

A fast and fabulous story, perfect for reading with children of all ages.  The plot itself is very simple.  A chest is discovered, confiscated by the Emperor, but will not open for anyone.  The chest is stunning.  It's described as "magnificent" and made of a metal that "shined like the scales of a barracuda."  

The Emperor charges all the people he can think of, one after another, to open the chest.  They are each thwarted.  Outraged by their failure, the cruel Emperor demands that they be whipped as punishment.  Then he moves on to the next person, then the next, until he runs out of people who might be able to open the chest.  He is despondent.

Miraculously, a kitchen hand is able to advise the Emperor that the magic Lynx is able to see through anything and everything, and can at least tell the Emperor what is contained in the chest.  The hunt is on, the Lynx is brought, and the Emperor is at last content.  I suppose it all ends well for those who were not whipped.

There is a thoughtful lesson contained in this little tale, and I feel that creates a depth that makes the story just a bit more satisfying.  But my favorite part of the story is the illustrative style.  In particular, the locksmith is my absolute favorite picture.

I thought the entire story was lovely.  I'm so pleased to have read it and will very gladly read it to my children again and again.
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The illustrations in this book is subtle and gorgeous but sadly the story, not so much. It was a bit too short and the ending was not satisfactory.
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The Enchanted Chest is a b-e-a-u-t-e-o-u-s picture book! Since the plot is that of the usual fairytale about a greedy king and his obsession with a mysterious artefact, I'll just concentrate on the illustrations and say that the style, while simple, yet almost reminiscent of Klimt's patterns, is marvelous. I'm still impressed with the human characters and their features (the strongman page is my favourite). Would recommend to parents of illustration-afficionado children!
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When an ornate chest is found by a fisherman, a greedy emperor looking for more treasure wants to open it. However, no one is able to, and only the Lynx with her vision can satisfy his curiosity.

Greed is outright stated to be one of the worst qualities the emperor possesses, leading to over taxation and abuses in his staff. He doesn't even marry or have children because of the eventual expense for their care, and he blames others for things he can't control. It progresses in much this way until the end of the book, when the Lynx's answer for the Emperor is the only thing that can satisfy him, even if he still can't open the box.

There is a page of text opposite David Sala's artwork. It's short at only 28 pages (including the artwork) so it makes for a very quick read. The colors are vivid and eye-catching, and it looks like the papercraft of picture books I had when I was younger. Whether the moral of this fable is really appropriate or not can be left to interpretation, and that might spark some really interesting conversations with children or adults.
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4 stars
The artwork in the story is simple but at same time gorgeous.  The tale is one of a fisherman finding a chest that is taken to the Emperor.  The Emperor wants to know what is in the chest, but can’t find anyone who can open it.  Eventually, a kitchen servant suggests finding a certain Lynx who can see through walls.  The Lynx is brought before the Emperor and tells him the chest is full of treasures… and the Emperor happily stores the chest away in his treasure trove.  But the reality is the chest is empty.  Brilliant ending.
Thank you NetGalley and publisher, Diamond Book Distributors, for the opportunity to read this ARC.
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Since childhood I love to hear fairytales, folktales, fables, legends, basically the whole lot and now, being a tiny bit older, I enjoy collecting interesting and unique ones from all over the world.

The Enchanted Chest stands out, the artwork is simply a must see.

A fisherman finds a beautiful chest in his fishing net, but struggles to open it.
While he is still battering the truly stunning trunk with his tools, one of the King's guards appears. He claims the still unopened item for the ruler of the land, who is a greedy character indeed.

Once the confiscated item is inside the palace and placed in front of the King, he has to agree, this sure looks like an amazing treasure trove, only it still is locked.
But try as he might, neither the Emperor himself nor his locksmith, strong man "I love breaking things", magician, alchemist, they all fail to break the lock. Finally, there's the advice from a young kitchen hand, maybe the lynx could help, as the animal can see through walls.
The animal is caught and she finds herself in front of the throne, but will the lynx succeed where all the others failed?

Now, here's the thing, everybody who loves fairytales, will probably by now expect a certain ending, and let's just say, at first, the lynx behaves accordingly, but the last page of the book and particularly the last sentence are quite a surprise. There's a twist I didn't see coming.

The author looks here at deception and that sometimes, not knowing the full truth or maybe not wanting to see the reality can still make us very happy, depending how we are prepared to deceive ourselves.

I hugely enjoyed reading the story, the writing flows nicely and is funny and the twist at the end, as mentioned before, I sure didn't see coming.
The illustrations are utterly beautiful and I agree with one of the reviews in the US, I also immediately was reminded of Gustav Klimt. David Sala's artwork is a total delight.

Five star shaped diamonds for The Enchanted Chest from me.
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I don't know whether the story is original, or a retelling; either way, it's fine, but not a fairytale classic. The art, though! Think Klimt if the sin which fascinated him were greed instead of lust. So not as good as Klimt, obviously, because he's one of the all-time greats, and also because greed is fundamentally less interesting than lust. But still.

(Netgalley ARC)
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This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher. Note this is not a graphic novel despite being listed as one! it is instead a short-story with illustrations on alternating pages.

This was a super-cute story with great artwork. A fisher pulls up this ornate chest from the ocean and ends up having to turn it over to the emperor. It's locked, and he tries in vain to get it open by means of calling-up one official and expert after another: the Locksmith, the Strong Man, the Magician, the Alchemist, and finally the lynx who can see through anything, including the emperor's shallowness.

This was different: a fun, well-illustrated and nicely told tale, and I recommend it.
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'The Enchanted Chest' by Jean-François Chabas with illustrations by David Salas is a fairytale about a greedy king and a treasure that is hidden to him.

One day, a fisherman pulls in a beautiful chest from the sea.  While he is still on shore and admiring his find, it is taken from him, and given to a king.  Try as he might, the servants of the king are unable to open the box.  The king calls on a locksmith, a strong man, a magician and others to see if they can open the enchanted chest.  Will the chest ever be opened and what will be inside?

I loved this story about this strange box, and the ending will leave room for much thinking about the message of the story.  The full page illustrations by David Salas are absolutely gorgeous.  In some ways, they reminded me of the work of Gustave Klimt in their richness.  The story itself feels like an old tale, and I liked the message that is given.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Lion Forge, Diamond Book Distributors, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.
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Love, love, love! The illustrations are fantastic, especially the cat, and could tell the story all on their own.
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The artwork in this book is so appealing to me - oddly flat and with a strange sense of scale, and a great use of texture and pattern. The story is sweet too - a fairytale along the lines of the Emperor’s New Clothes.
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In the spirit of old-fashioned fairy tales, a nice story for kids. Interesting style of illustrations.
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A very adorably told and illustrated fairy tale that shows that perspective is as important as material wealth.  Bravo.
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This is a very short fairy tale on the nature of truth. The art supporting the story is beautiful, it reminds me of the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt who is one of my favourite artists and it blends peefectly with the storyline. Since the drawings are so beautiful, I would strngly recommend to buy this book in print and treasure it as a work of art after enjoying it with your children.
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I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

The artwork in this book was like old stained glass images. It fit for the time period of the story. The story covers greed, unfair punishments, and gives a moral at the end. The fisherman rightfully found the chest but it was taken by the greedy monarch. But karma is not always nice and the Emperor could find no one to open it. Through trickery he comes to the knowledge that this chest is full of valuables and thus we come to our moral: what we think we have matters as much as what we actually have.

But what about the fisherman? What about all the lashes given for failed attempts at opening the chest. The Emperor is greedy and throws tantrums. But in the end he’s happy. The ending message might be a good, strong ideal but overall it looks like being an evil, greedy person will get you what you want. 

3 stars.
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Interesting and beautiful modern fairy tale. The art illustrations were stunning and very Klimt-like; they added the perfect amount of colour and oomph to the pages.

The fable itself is relatively short and ends rather abruptly but I found it compelling and can definitely see it being an interesting story to discuss with young children.
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A quirky tale about a greedy ruler, his mistreated servants, the personified creature that outsmarts them all, with a one-liner moral at the end. 2.75-3 stars for the story, 4 stars for the mosaic, expressive, and colorful artwork.

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Fisherman catches an unopenable chest in his net, but a guard sees it and confiscates it for the emperor, a foolish greedy power-hungry idiot. He can’t find anyone who can open it either, and gives lashes to those who fail. A lynx who can see through things is captured and brought to look into the chest, and gets some sweet revenge on the jerk, though I was expecting it to go much further.
The locksmith has a giant key as a necklace, which as a gigantic badge of office is pretty ridiculous. On the other hand, the magician has the most beautiful flowing red hair. . . and that’s about all I remember of the illustrations.
I can just hear kids asking, “Mommy, what does ‘ten lashes’ mean?” Good luck explaining that one.
3.5 pushed up to 4/5
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This was an interesting book.  The colors were gentle, though the story was not overly so.  Lots of failed servants being whipped, though off page.  

Also, the ending moral didn't quite make sense to me.  The king never learned his lesson re: greed and compassion for others.  Not a bad ending, but not the expected one I guess you could say, at least not the one expected by me.  Not sure how this would work for children.  It seems a bit more mature than I would read to a younger child.  It would depend on the child's comprehension level I think.  3 solid, if slightly head scratching, stars.

My thanks to NetGalley and Diamond Book Distributors Lion Forge for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.
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A sweet fairytale about greed, "The Enchanted Chest" is brimming with stunning illustrations and gorgeous writing.
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