cover image The Sorcerer's Apprentice

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Nancy Willard. Scholastic, $16.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-590-47329-3

This sophisticated collaboration from the creators of Pish, Posh Said Hieronymus Bosch reinvents a magical tale that is perhaps best known to young readers from Walt Disney's Fantasia. Willard's vivid rhyming text conjures up a fantasy world ruled by old Tottibo, a magician who ``stood so tall his very shadow chilled them all.'' Red-haired Sylvia volunteers to be his new assistant and takes on the task of clothing every one of his creatures. From ``bibs well-matched for baby dragons newly hatched'' to ``cloaks to clothe the lesser things,'' Sylvia has a daunting list of garments to sew, and can hardly be blamed for calling on a little magic to speed things up. However, when the newly enlivened sewing machine bares a set of gleaming steel teeth and takes to the air, magical mayhem ensues. The glee-filled text speeds along to a pleasing conclusion, stopping only to challenge the reader with an interesting word choice or image (``a famished stretch of sky''). Distilling the frenzied energy of the text, the Dillons' majestic artwork captures the story's essence and, with its quiet sheen, invokes the timelessness of fairy tales. All ages. (Oct.)