A mischievous, unpredictable wizard will delight readers in this picture book by bestselling author Jack Prelutsky and the exciting illustrator Brandon Dorman
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A mischievous, unpredictable wizard will delight readers in this picture book by bestselling author Jack Prelutsky and the exciting illustrator Brandon Dorman
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

On a seemingly normal suburban cul-de-sac, one house is definitely out of character-the looming tower that's home to the title character. Dressed in a green robe and peaked hat decorated with stars and moons, "He's tall and thin with wrinkled skin," writes Prelutsky, "a tangled beard hangs from his chin." (The verse originally appeared in the 1976 collection Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep.) As he "ponders in his wicked way/ what evil deed he'll do this day," the wizard decides to gives his powers a workout on a hapless frog. The poor amphibian is transformed into a flea, a pair of mice, a cockatoo, a piece of chalk and silver bell before being returned to his original shape. Mightily pleased with himself, the wizard gazes down upon the children playing in the street below and debates his next move: "He may pluck someone off the spot/ and turn him into... who knows what?" The poem isn't one of Prelutsky's most memorable works, but it is pretext enough for an impressive picture book by Dorman. The illustrator's digital artwork has all the burnished lushness and radiance of oil paintings. Whether immersing readers in the delicious gloominess of the wizard's workroom or zooming in for a close-up of the enchanter's knobby fingers and menacing nails, Dorman proves his mettle as a marvelous visual storyteller. Ages 5-10. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
A huge tower rises menacingly over a slightly out of kilter suburban street on the title page spread. The next page brings a closer view with a grated window and a turret cap creating a personified illusion. The story begins with a wizard looking out the small window of his spooky room while the text tells us that he is pondering wicked ways and evil deeds. The wizard is tall and thin, has a tangled beard, gaunt cheeks, and deep set eyes. He scoops a bullfrog off the floor and uses his wand to change it into a flea, then into a pair of mice, then into a cockatoo, and then into a piece of chalk. He uses the chalk to write a spell before he turns it into a bell and then a fire. His next gesture restores the bullfrog to its original shape and destroys it in a cloud of smoke. The wizard then consults his text and the reader is warned that he is contemplating further evil as he looks out over the street filled with small children. Full color illustrations fill the pages with rhyming text appearing on representations of unfolding scrolls. Most of the pictures convey surreal, frightening images. The book could possibly be used with older children who have an interest in wizards. It is not recommended for use with young children.
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3
A creepy tower looms at the end of an ordinary neighborhood street; inside, a wicked and bored wizard is pondering "what evil deeds he'll do this day." He amuses himself by turning a bullfrog into a flea, which turns into two mice "that dive into a bubbling brew/emerging as one cockatoo." He continues his circular transforming spells until at last the bullfrog appears. The poem, adapted from "The Wizard" in Prelutsky's Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (HarperCollins, 1976), ends with a sinister warning: "He may pluck someone off the spot/and turn him into . . . who knows what?" Just whom he spots from his tower window is revealed through Dorman's vivid illustration: an unfortunate skateboarding kid who is zapped into a lizard. The digitally created spreads are spectacular, featuring a variety of perspectives from a close-up of the wizard's disgusting fingernails to a panoramic view from the tower. Readers will be fascinated by the rich details-the peculiar items on the shelves and in the rest of the wicked wizard's abode. There is much about this book for kids to love.
—Lee BockCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Lit with a greenish glow, elaborately detailed digital paintings give a properly eerie setting to this shortened version of a poem originally published in Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (1976). In a book-strewn workroom atop a stone tower that looms crookedly over an otherwise ordinary modern suburban neighborhood, a Saruman-ish wizard with long black nails idly transforms a passing bullfrog into a flea, a pair of mice, a cockatoo and other shapes. Then he leans out of his window to select his next victim (maybe you) from among the ant-like figures on the street below. Closing with a ground-level view of a surprised-looking chameleon clinging to a skateboard and the suggestion that "Should you encounter a toad or lizard, look closely . . . / it may be the work of a wizard," Dorman's debut makes an atmospheric opener for any magic-themed storytime. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062067005
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/7/2010
  • Format: NOOK Kids
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • File size: 9 MB

Meet the Author

Jack Prelutsky

Jack Prelutsky has filled more than fifty books of verse with his inventive wordplay, including the national bestsellers The Wizard, Scranimals, and The New Kid on the Block. He is also the author of Be Glad Your Nose is on your Face, a collection of his most celebrated verses. He was named the nation's first Children's Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. Jack Prelutsky lives in Washington State.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012


    I like it so much ;):)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011


    Beautiful illustrations and a great twist at the end. Loved it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 22, 2011

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