Kaytek the Wizard

Overview

Kaytek, a mischievous schoolboy who wants to become a wizard, is surprised to discover that he is able to perform magic spells and change reality. He begins to lead a double life: a powerful wizard in the dress of an ordinary boy. It’s all great fun using magic to cause strange incidents in his school and neighborhood, but soon Kaytek’s increasing powers cause major chaos around the city of Warsaw. Disillusioned, he leaves the country and wanders the world in search of the meaning of his good intentions, his...

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Overview

Kaytek, a mischievous schoolboy who wants to become a wizard, is surprised to discover that he is able to perform magic spells and change reality. He begins to lead a double life: a powerful wizard in the dress of an ordinary boy. It’s all great fun using magic to cause strange incidents in his school and neighborhood, but soon Kaytek’s increasing powers cause major chaos around the city of Warsaw. Disillusioned, he leaves the country and wanders the world in search of the meaning of his good intentions, his unique abilities, and their consequences. Revolving around the notion that power is not without responsibility, nor without repercussions, this story speaks to every child's dream of freeing themselves from the endless control of adults, and shaping the world to their own designs.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Despite his mischievousness, Kaytek is an intelligent boy with a good heart. His story is quite enjoyable. Recommended." —Kasey Giard, Children's Literature
Children's Literature - Kasey Giard
Kaytek likes to make bets. He likes to play tricks. He discovers the greatest trick of all and finds the ability to harness his mind and will to change reality. He is a wizard. At first he masters only small things, but his power slowly grows. The greater his power becomes, the greater the mischief he can cause. The tricks and the power thrill him for a moment, but regret soon follows with the consequences of his actions. Determined to better control his thoughts and on the run from the police, Kaytek journeys to France and beyond searching for wisdom and a better life for himself, for even magic can't solve all problems. Originally published in the 1930s, author Korczak created the story of Kaytek for the children in the central Warsaw orphanage for Jewish children which he ran. He wanted to explore with these children ideas about power, responsibility and consequences. Despite his mischievousness, Kaytek is an intelligent boy with a good heart. His story is quite enjoyable. Recommended.
Kirkus Reviews
A boy growing up in 1930s Warsaw determines to become a wizard and succeeds--but at a price. Korczak is memorialized as the Jewish pediatrician, progressive child psychologist and author who accompanied the children in his Warsaw ghetto orphanage to their deaths in a concentration camp. The Polish government declared 2012 the year of Janusz Korczak, marking the 70th anniversary of his death, and now his 1933 children's book has been translated into English for the first time. The story is riveting, complex and thought-provoking. Young Kaytek, filled with the fairy tales his mother and grandmother tell him, wants to take control of his life and begins to study wizardry. His magic soon turns his streets, his school and all of Warsaw topsy-turvy and even draws the attention of the League of Nations. After an ocean voyage, a brief film career in Hollywood, imprisonment and transformation into a dog, Kaytek returns home a wiser, more responsible and more humane person. The translation is excellent, and notes are provided to help readers understand local customs and geography. Unfortunately, the book suffers from mid-20th-century European racism, particularly in its attitude toward Africa and Africans. Students of children's literature will find the book and the afterword illuminating. Children will need to place it in historical perspective. Illustrated with full-page black-and-white art. Fascinating but flawed. (translator's afterword, references) (Historical fantasy. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780983868507
  • Publisher: Penlight Publications
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 823,168
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Janusz Korczak was the pen name of Dr. Henryk Goldszmit, a pediatrician and child psychologist who famously ran a central Warsaw orphanage on innovative educational principles. Korczak left behind a large written legacy, including books on education, plays, essays, letters, and of course, novels and stories for children, including King Matt the First. Antonia Lloyd-Jones is a translator of Polish literature. Her published translations from Polish include novels by Pawel Huelle and Olga Tokarczuk, short stories by Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz, and nonfiction by Ryszard Kapuscinski and Wojciech Tochman. Her translations of poetry have appeared in periodicals including the Edinburgh Review.

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