Wizard at Work
by Vivian Vande Velde
From the author of such magical titles as The Rumpelstiltskin Problem
, A Hidden Magic
, and Tales from the Brothers
Grimm and the Sisters Weird
, comes this quick little
novel-in-the-form-of-short-stories about an unnamed, young Wizard who
runs a school for young wizards, disguised as a bearded ancient. He
reverts to his youthful form during the summer holidays, when he wants
to putter in his garden, go fishing, and do little projects around his
tower home, but people will keep coming around asking for wizardly
favors. And a witch may or may not have put a curse on the Wizard: he
will not find true happiness until he learns to see beyond appearances.
And so a succession of cracked fairy tales follows, in which the wizard
learns a lot about seeing beyond appearances. A beautiful princess begs
the Wizard to break a ridiculous but nasty curse. A plague of
rebellious, yearling unicorns has to be stopped before things really get
out of hand. A too-honest magical mirror, a dragon, and a princess who
refuses to be rescued, combine in one squirm-inducing lesson in seeing
beyond skin-deep. A castle needs to be rid of a dripping, inhuman ghost.
And finally, the Wizard devises a quest to make a man worthy of the hand
of a tomboyish princess-a quest involving a dwarf king's magic
The stories go by swiftly, but they are full of charm and laugh-aloud
humor, spirited adventure, and the logic of mini-mysteries. They are
also very instructive, as well as bracingly un-romantic. Sort of a tonic
to the worst effects of having fairy tales on the brain.
Recommended Age: 10+
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