Tuesday 8 October 2013

Silver the Silly Sorcerer

Silver the Silly Sorcerer by Candice Lemon-Scott, illustrated by Janet Wolf (New Frontier Publishing)
PB RRP $12.95
ISBN – 9781921928499
Reviewed by Emma Cameron

Silver has only one chance left to pass the Eggs test at school or he’ll have to join the circus as a magician. He can easily make a mouse disappear and reappear, but his test requires he make it reappear as something else. When making the mouse disappear, he accidently makes his teacher vanish too. School is closed as all the other teachers try to work out how to reverse this.

Silver is deemed to have failed the test and is packed off to a failing circus forthwith. As he farewells his family, his sister Star gives him a magic card that he can rub if he needs to get back home in an emergency. Silver thinks life as a circus magician will be awful and, given that his first job is cleaning out the animal cages, he could be right. Worse still, the circus master doesn’t like the fact that Silver’s snake, Slither, is a back chatter.

When Silver does put on his magic act he is so bad it turns out to be seen by the audience as comical, thus earning him the name that matches the book’s title. It also means the circus begins to draw great crowds. Though things always get to a point where Silver is incapable of fixing them, Slither the snake steps in to do so and all turns out fine. But what of the missing teacher?

Well, as the story winds up in dramatic fashion it not only reveals a surprising fact about how the circus acquired its elephant but also has Silver’s teacher reappear as part of the twist. And just as they are at their final and most dangerous point of the tale, Silver rubs the magic card given to him by Star. They immediately return home safely and Silver receives a pass in the Eggs test. Hooray!

Like all Little Rockets titles, this has well-spaced text and colourful illustrations to break up the chapters, thereby encouraging young readers just stepping into chapter books to give it a go. The high quality paper used in production of this series, for readers aged 7+, will prove excellent for very likely repeated library borrowing.

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