The Pied Piper's Magic
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The Pied Piper's Magic

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by Steven Kellogg
     
 

Peterkin, a colorful elf, brings music and hope everywhere he goes with the aid of his magic pipe. It gives him the power to call any animal to him, and even to transform one creature into another. This is just what the evil Grand Duke needs to rid his village of its never-ending rats. But when Peter turns the rats into stars, the Grand Duke is still as mean as

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Overview

Peterkin, a colorful elf, brings music and hope everywhere he goes with the aid of his magic pipe. It gives him the power to call any animal to him, and even to transform one creature into another. This is just what the evil Grand Duke needs to rid his village of its never-ending rats. But when Peter turns the rats into stars, the Grand Duke is still as mean as ever. Discover the pipe's true magic as our hero uses it to inspire and save the whole village.

Steven Kellogg's clever new take on The Pied Piper of Hamelin is friendly, whimsical, and full of surprise.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Kellogg's lighthearted take on this classic tale centers on Peterkin, a kind elf who receives a magic pipe from a miserable witch named Elbavol. He discovers that the pipe plays letters rather than notes and conjures up animals, such as a deer, by playing their names ("He was so excited that he flipped over backward. The pipe responded by reversing the letters and singing R-E-E-D. The deer was instantly transformed into a reed"). Peterkin travels to a gloomy, rat-infested town, where he accepts the Grand Duke's challenge to rid the place of rodents. He uses the pipe to turn each of them into a star, overthrows the tyrannical duke, then revisits Elbavol to work some magic on her unhappy disposition. Kellogg depicts the magic-making in bright, buoyant mixed media spreads that show streams of colorful text and corresponding animals pouring from the mouth of the pipe (even the rats seem pretty amenable to being transformed into stars). Far sunnier than the original, this slightly educational adaptation (thanks to the built-in spelling lessons within) should please parents and kids alike. Ages 3-5. (Apr.)

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Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kellogg draws on the magic of a musical pipe like that of the legendary Pied Piper to focus his tale of a small spritely elf named Peterkin. In return for his offer to clean up her dreary house, a retired witch named Elbavol gives Peterkin a pipe that plays letters instead of music. Whatever he spells with it magically appears; when it is reversed it offers what was spelled backward. Peterkin arrives at a dirty city overrun with rats. The children are trying to shoo them away while their parents are at work all day, forced there by the wicked Grand Duke. When he learns that the duke has promised a million gold florins to anyone who will rid the city of rats, Peterkin soon pipes them to the duke's castle. He then reverses the pipe to make them all stars. Readers will begin to see how he can then use the magic to make a happy ending for all. Kellogg starts the story on the front endpapers, where we see happy rats pointing to the elf as he strides along a forest path. On the title page he turns his smiling face as if to invite us to join him. Complex scenes are almost overloaded with details, including the integration of the letters of the magic. Kellogg uses ink and pencil line, watercolor washes, and acrylic paints for the pages almost overflowing with color and action. On the back end pages, the whole town seems to be joyfully cavorting in the Pied Piper Fountain presided over by a statue of Peterkin and his pipe. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3

This peppy new rendition bears little resemblance to the original legend. The story focuses on Peterkin, a happy elf who stumbles upon a gloomy retired witch named Elbavol. His attempts to cheer her fail, but she sends him off with a magic pipe, which plays the sound of letters. Spelling a word calls it forth, and reversing the letters changes it into something else. So when Peterkin comes to a city plagued by rats and run by a cruel Grand Duke, he uses his pipe to call up the rats and then changes them into stars. However, he still must claim his reward from the Duke. Clever readers may guess the mystery behind Elbavol's name before Peterkin does. This story does not have the haunting, thought-provoking qualities of the legend, nor is it very scary-even the rats are cute. Bright cartoon illustrations in sunshine yellows burst with colorful hearts, flowers, and rainbows except for in the contrasting dark, decrepit areas surrounding Elbavol. Children will enjoy this story without knowing the original tale, but to know only this version would be a shame.-Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA

Kirkus Reviews
Kellogg puts his touch to yet another classic. Going beyond the basic Pied Piper tale, the author weaves in the story of a downtrodden witch named Elbavol. After a kindness paid her by Peterkin the elf, she gifts him with a pipe. He quickly discovers its magic: The pipe plays the sounds of letters and, when used to spell words, makes those objects appear. Even better, when the words are played backwards, the objects transform accordingly. So, when faced with the rats of the (here unnamed) town, the Piper turns them all into stars . . . until the Grand Duke reneges on his promised reward. In characteristic fashion, the author joins the two story lines of the Grand Duke and Elbavol, the transformative power of love ensuring that everyone lives happily ever after. His signature artwork's colors reflect the emotions of the characters, while the clever incorporation of the words spelled by the pipe makes it clear to even the youngest readers what happens when they are spelled backwards. No matter how it is spelled, this belongs on every library shelf. (Picture book. 3-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803728189
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
04/02/2009
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
633,674
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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