- Virginia Johnson
In Andrew Peters’ Salt Is Sweeter than Gold, an old king has three daughters, but only one will inherit his kingdom. Who should it be? When it’s time to decide, the king holds a grand ceremony and asks in front of huge crowd a simple question: how much do you love me? The first answer pleases him very much: “I love you more than all the jewels that encrust your fingers and all the gold that lies hidden in the vaults of this castle!” The second daughter also gives a charming answer: “I love you more than all the land that spreads like an ocean beyond this castle!” But when the youngest, who did truly love him, says simply, “Father, I love you more than salt,” the king is so insulted he banishes her immediately and tells her she is no longer his…. until the day that salt becomes more precious than gold.
This is an ancient folktale from Moravia—a place where long ago every visitor was given bread and salt as a courtesy—and it has found its way around the world in variations from Shakespeare’s King Lear to the English Cinderella-story “Coat of Rushes” to the American Southern tale, Moss Gown, to the Jewish story, “The Way Meat Loves Salt.” Its subtle, magical truths on pride, love, and honesty make Salt Is Sweeter than Gold a simple yet very valuable story that will be treasured by readers young and old.