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King Of The Copper Mountains

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  815 ratings  ·  55 reviews
In order to keep the old king's heart beating until the doctor returns with a special potion, various animals take turns in telling stories that are so interesting that the king longs to hear more. ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 16th 2010 by Strident Publishing Limited (first published 1964)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  815 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful book. Absolutely wonderful. So charming and inventive and lovely that I regard it as a privilege to have read it. I had never heard of the author or this novel before I picked up a copy in a second hand bookstore. I just liked the title. It turned out to be a marvellous story made up of many other stories that ultimately all combine together.

The ailing thousand-year old king Mansolain is kept alive (while he waits for the Wonder Doctor to bring him the herbal medicine he needs) by s
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Charming storybook of individual stories which all form part of the main story. There was something quite simple and lowkey and old fashioned, and yet very inventive and creative. I did wonder about the translation in to English, obviously never as good as the original. I felt that maybe the significance of names and rhymes were lost in translation, but nevertheless a charming book.
Amber Scaife
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scheherazade for kids with a Dutch twist: a 1000-year old king is dying, so a magic doctor races to find a key ingredient for a potion that will save him, while the king's only servant and best friend, a hare, tries to keep him alive by inviting a new animal into the castle every night to tell a story.
A lovely book, with all sorts of good stories from the animals and a good overarching story to tie them all together.
Delightful! The illustrations with the king's beard were my favorites. I wish I'd read this as a kid; it is the perfect just-before-bed book.

I'm curious about the translation -- are phrases like "Buzz off!" included in the original Dutch?
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My all time favourite book, I discovered it as a child and have loved it ever since. I recommend it for young and old alike.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This book was one of those titles that made a huge impression on me as a little boy, and before re-reading it this time I remembered it through the lens of nostalgia rather than an accurate memory of its contents. Having finally chased it down a few months ago I finally sat down and revisited it some 40+ years after I last read it, seeing if I could rediscover how it charmed me way back when.

Of course that didn't happen as the boy back then is now a much older man and the combination of experien
Brian Spuy
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book as a child, and since then, have reread it many times over; it turned out to be one of my all time favorite fantasy stories. The version I read was an Afrikaans translation, but as I recall, the English version is not much different or worse.

This is Biegel at his best, displaying an astounding, visionary breadth of imagination, in a set of stories-within-the-story that just never gets old.

I notice that this edition has a different illustrator, and since I have not read t
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
A beautiful children´s story that you could easily divide up into smaller sections, so you could read to them each evening.
The book touches different themes, like friendship, loss, sickness, death, hope,... . The drawings are gorgeous and really fit with the style of the book.
I received this book from after winning a contest and this is my honest review.
Find more about this book on my blog : and my IG @thisbutterflywarriorreads. You can also find
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful! I'm thankful for having books like this to read as a child. Chivalrous and noble characters in a fairy tale both imaginative and simple. Stories within stories from a time where death was not a taboo in children's books. ...more
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant story book to read for children of 7-10 years.
Walter Schutjens
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, reviewed, fantasy
Great book, I still remember it vividly from my childhood
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars for this great story

Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A heartwarming story by one of the best authors of children books the Netherlands has ever known.
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This spellbinding read is truly magical and which will capture millions of children’s imaginations, as their dreams become reality!

This beautiful, captivating story is one that touches your heart with its moving narrative and truth-drawing poignancy. This captures your imagination as you delight in the most remarkable and extraordinary events and places, as you soar cloud high as a spark is lit for that love of all things fantastical. It is a story that is a timeless classic and which will be r
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen)
Rating this book is so very difficult, because it was read to me for the first time in school when I was a kid. Later I read it myself (both were with this cover: Het sleutelkruid) and it stayed with me all these years. When Popsugar had a nostalgia prompt this year, I just knew I had to read this. I ended up listening to the audiobook, and while the format of the story was familiar (different animals telling stories to a dying king to keep him alive until the wonderdoctor comes back with the Sl ...more
Dec 12, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sort of 1001 Nights. A thousand-year-old king is dying, and every night a new animal comes to tell him a story to keep him interested, and therefore alive, for another night - the wolf, and the lion, and the swallow, and the rabbit-of-the-dunes, and the pitiful donkey. The illustrations in my edition were splendid. The sketch of the hare tying an apron on the patient wolf is indelible.
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lauren
Tremendously strange and wonderful, King of the Copper Mountains is one of the old breed. The stories are delightful and tender, odd and enchanting, a truly magical book about how a good story, told well, can keep hope alive when times are hard. One of the best Christmas presents I'd ever gotten, I only wish I'd found it sooner! ...more
A wonder doctor goes off to search for the magical herb Golden Speedwell to wind up the old heart of King Mansolein. While the king is waiting from all over the land animals and creatures come to tell him stories to keep him alive. A wonderful, sweet story. One of the best books of my favourite writer Paul Biegel.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this beautiful and enchanting tale as a child and as an adult, many times. It is an old fashioned tale - a wonderful collection of stories told by passing animals to the King to keep his old heart going until the Doctor comes back with the golden speedwell. I can see me reading this many more times in the future. ...more
Jul 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-fantasy
This is my favourite book from when I was a child. It's the first book to ever make me cry, and it's probably the first book that made me realise how much I love reading. ...more
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourites. Each story brings a different emotion. The stories are brilliant. The best children's book I've read and re-read and re-read.... ...more
Linsen Loots
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the book I've reread most often in my life, and undoubtedly the favourite I've brought with me from childhood. ...more
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: storytelling
I'm glad I bumped into this old book - it's a beautiful story (and collection of stories) that go right to the heart of storytelling... especially when we see the King as symbol of our own heart. ...more
Louise Mcdonagh
I'm not much of a fan of children's books, but this was lovely. Quite escapist. ...more
Sally Holmes
Feb 13, 2016 rated it liked it
A great children's book for reading aloud. ...more
Demi Spelbos
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my favourite book as a kid, I've probably read this one about 10 times. After reading it years after my childhood, I did lower my rating to 4 stars but this will always be nostalgic to me. ...more
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I know to read aloud. Lovely prose.
T.O. Munro
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another book from my childhood, that - just the other day - I got to repurchase and reread.
I grew up surrounded by books and this is one whose central tenet caught my imagination as few others have.

The idea of a king so ill that he needs a constant diet of fascinating stories to keep him alive. Somehow there is so much of the magic of reading and stories wrapped up in that.

Until this week I could not have told you any of the individual stories or the creatures that told them, but even as a child
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Paul Biegel was born in Bussum in 1925. His father, Hermann Biegel, was of German descent, and owned a building materials shop. With his wife Madeleine Povel-Guillot he had nine children, six girls and three boys, of which Paul was the youngest. He wasn't a prolific reader as a child, preferring to play outside. His favourite books where the fairy tales of the brothers Grimm and the works of Jules ...more

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