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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Wizard, the Ugly, and the Book of Shame (The)
by Pablo Bernasconi
Age Range: 9-11
Leitmeritz is a wizard – with a carrot nose – who lives in a castle at the top of a high hill. He is the sole proprietor of the powerful Book of Spells that has been passed down from generation to generation. It contains all the mysteries and secrets of the entire world and with the help of this book Leitmeritz is able to fulfil everyone’s wishes, except that of his assistant, Chancery, who due to his physical appearance is named ‘The Ugly’. While the master is away Chancery succumbs to temptation and decides to attempt to use the book and find a spell that will make him handsome. Unfortunately things go terribly wrong and on his return Leitmeritz notices that the spells in the book no longer work and disaster is unavoidable.
This is a humorous, fantasy story that has all the elements of a modern classic and is wonderfully narrated. The collage-type illustrations are original in style and superb in every respect. Pablo Bernasconi’s illustrated artwork is also featured on the front cover of this publication.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)