The Wizard’s Tears

Maxine Kumin and Anne Sexton, illus. by Keren Katz. Triangle Square, $18.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-60980-875-4
Comic fairy tales are tricky to pull off, but this one, originally published in 1975 by poets Kumin and Sexton, hits no false notes. Drought and attendant curses have beset the town of Drocknock—“Twenty cows had disappeared from farmer Macadoo’s pasture without a trace”—and a new young wizard (“The ink was hardly dry on his diploma”) is summoned to replace the old one. Fresh illustrations in brilliant golds and blues by Israeli artist Katz (The Academic Hour) create a different kind of fairy tale atmosphere. Elongated figures, clothed in elegantly patterned garments, display graceful choreography rather than antic action. The communicative value of human facial expression, usually so central to picture book artwork, takes a backseat to abstract shape and rhythm. The young wizard cures the drought and the pox but discovers that his own tears work even more powerful magic. Chaos ensues: Drocknock’s inhabitants turn into frogs, chocolate cake appears for the wizard’s breakfast, and the story takes a “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” turn as he works out how to undo the damage. Fans of Thurber’s The Thirteen Clocks will rejoice. A poignant afterword by Kumin remembers her collaboration with Sexton. Ages 5–9. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/07/2019
Release date: 05/07/2019
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 48 pages - 978-0-07-035636-8
Hardcover - 48 pages - 978-0-07-035637-5
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