Title: The Wizard
Author: Jack Prelutsky & Illustrated by Brandon Dorman
Recommended for: Kindergarten – Grade 5
Pages: 32 pages
Call Number/Link: E PRELU
Synopsis: In a spooky tower on a cozy suburban cul-de-sac lives a wizard pondering evil deeds. He uses “elemental sorcery” to turn a bullfrog into a flea, which becomes a pair of mice, which emerge as a cockatoo, and so on, until the wizard brings back the frog and banishes it. Contemplating his next trick, the magician peers from his tower window to the street below, where children play: “He may pluck someone off the spot / and turn them into . . . who knows what?” Prelutsky’s rhyming text, adapted from a poem originally published in Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (1976), combines well with Dorman’s sumptuous, full-page digital art, featuring a grandfatherly wizard “tall and thin with wrinkled skin, a tangled beard hangs from his chin.” Children will particularly like the way the wizard’s spells glow and splash across the pages, and the creepy feeling that evil may lurk even on their own street. Consider this somewhat eerie, but not over-the-top scary.
Comments: I grabbed this book off the shelf because of the beautiful cover and the inside illustrations were even better! Each page is incredibly detailed, colorful and full of action. The poem might be a bit scary for toddlers, but would be another great read around Halloween or for family story time. If you read the book one-on-one there are so many things to find in each picture that you could spend a long time together searching for hidden objects.