In this allegorical tale, a man in a hot-air ballon is thrown off course in a violent storm, landing him in the city of his youth. He finds the way to his old home, but the house is dark, with three rusty padlocks on the door. A black cat with eyes of fire appears and leads him through Prague's silent streets and monuments in seach of the three golden keys that will open the door of his boyhood home and restore the city to life. In this reissue of one of his most personal works, Peter Sís recaptures the wonder of his own lost childhood in Prague and celebrates the city's wonderful cultural heritage, reborn after forty-five years of Communist rule. He wrote it for his young daughter, Madeleine, who is growing up in the New World, so that when she is old enough to understand it she will have a record of the strange and wonderful heritage that is her birthright. An utterly magical book on every level.