Sally Grindley, , illus. by Thomas Taylor. . Penguin Putnam/Fogelman, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-2726-7

Grindley's (A New Room for William) version of the disobedient apprentice's story adds a warm and fuzzy conclusion. British artist Taylor's friendly, animated artwork also maintains an optimistic tone, as the wide-eyed boy toils day after day for the long-bearded wizard. Throughout, the artwork shows the boy and an affectionate cat amidst the clutter of the sorcerer's laboratory, including equipment embellished with gargoyle heads and secret symbols. Even as things spin out of control when the boy tries his hand at magic, the sherbet-colored spreads retain a reassuring mood. When the wizard returns to discover the havoc caused by the boy and his overeager broomstick, the man reacts sternly, but with restraint. " 'I trusted you,' " he says, and then, when the little apprentice apologizes, the man puts his arm around the boy's shoulders: " 'Perhaps I have held you back for too long.... I will give you one chance, but be sure you reach out and grab it with both hands.' " The wizard gives the boy a wand and the young fellow is last seen stirring a cauldron with a wild-eyed look. But readers remain in the dark as to whether or not the boy feels any consequence to his irresponsible actions. Ages 4-8. (May)