Wednesday 12 January 2011

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Tom Skinner, illustrated by Annie White, Audio CD read by Antonio Kidman (New Frontier Publishing)
HB RRP $27.95
ISBN 9781921042096
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a colourful and lively contemporary adaptation of Goethe's famous poem and attests to the enduring popularity of this story. First written in 1797 (and titled Der Zauberlehrling), the poem was put to music by Paul Abraham Dukas in 1897, and has been the basis of two Disney movies; Fantasia (1940) and Fantasia 2000. 

Tom Skinner has brought The Sorcerer's Apprentice into the era of the car while still retaining the magic and wizardry. The sorcerer's apprentice Rizwan uses spells to help him with his tasks at the Wizard Car and Camel Wash. As in the original tale, everything goes wrong and the sorcerer must fix all on his return. However, that is not until after the mayor, his limousine and the whole Wizard and Camel Car Wash have nearly disappeared under a cloud of foamy bubbles.Annie White's illustrations are bright and colourful and full of movement. As with Skinner's text she manages to combine magic and modern.

The third title in New Frontier's Music Box series, the book is accompanied by an audio CD read by Antonia Kidman. At various times during the reading, Dukas' classical composition of The Sorcerer's Apprentice plays. There is further music after the reading ends and I must say it is delightful to be writing this review while it plays. The Sorcerer's Apprentice could stand as a picture book on its own but is also a perfect way to introduce young children to some of our literary and musical traditions. 

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