Weekly Geeks 2009-13: The Wizard, the Ugly & the Book of Shame

This week’s weekly geeks:
April 2nd was International Children’s Book Day. And April is National Poetry Month. In celebration, I have two lovely options for you this week:

Option A: Be a kid!
You could read a picture book (or two or three) and share what you read.
Write up a post sharing your favorite books from childhood
Write up a post about reading together with your child(ren)

Option B: Be a poet!
Write your own poem and share with us!
Write bookish ABC poems–ABC’s of favorite authors, favorite books, favorite characters, favorite book blogs, or any combination of the above. Maybe even an ABC’s of a bibliophile or book addict. (A is for…B is for…etc.)(For example,
ABC’s of Dr. Seuss)
Review a book you’ve read recently in haiku. (It doesn’t need to be a poetry book you’re reviewing, any book will do.) See
Emilyreads for an idea of what I mean.
Read a poetry book and review it

wizard_ugly I went with option A and read a children’s book. I chose “The Wizard, the Ugly and the Book of Shame” by Pablo Bernasconi, not only because it is a beautiful story, but also because the illustrations are a feast for the eyes.

The story is about the assistant of the sorcerer Leitmeritz who is left alone after being told that he must not touch the Red Book of Spells. However, since he knows that Leitmeritz can fulfil people’s innermost wishes with the help of the book, Chancery, who is considered ugly to the extreme by everybody and is ashamed of his looks, tries to use the book to become handsome.  The results are disastrous. Leitmeritz tells Chancery that – in order to set everything that happened right again – he must attain his innermost wish without any magic…

The collage like illustrations are made from various patterns, textures, objects and letters and breathtaking. Pablo Bernasconi is an award-winning designer and illustrator and this book testifies to it. There is so much to discover that you won’t be done with this book for a long time. On amazon you can have a look for yourself with the “look inside” feature. Just follow the link above to the book’s site on amazon.

There is a quote by Oscar Wilde on the first page of the book, something I haven’t come across yet in a children’s book. To me that’s an added bonus.

I can’t recommend the book highly enough and wish more people would know about it. We bought the hardcover edition in a discount store for a few Euros that clearly shows that unfortunately the book isn’t appreciated the way it deserves.

12 Comments Write a comment

  1. Andrea, I don’t know how old kids are in kindergarten where you teach, but I assume it is around 4 maybe. Our son is 5 and he really enjoyed the story and the pictures, even though he didn’t appreciate the artsy style as much as I did. But there are fun things in the illustrations, like a tomato in the king’s crown or a carrot as a nose etc., and he definitely liked those little things. Nothing terrible happens and it has a good ending, so I would say, yes, it is appropriate.


  2. Oh I love the cover! I would have bought the book based on the cover alone.
    It sounds like a lovely book; and how many childrens’ book can boast a quote from Wilde?
    Thanks for sharing this hidden gem.


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