Seymour Chwast Mr. Merlin and the Turtle

ISBN 13: 9780688146320

Mr. Merlin and the Turtle

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9780688146320: Mr. Merlin and the Turtle
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Young readers are invited to help Mr. Merlin perform magic tricks by turning interactive fold-out pages that transform his pet turtle into a monkey, camel, and elephant.

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From Publishers Weekly:

A pet turtle may be on the boring side, but as Merlin the magician and Mrs. Merlin find out in this clever lift-the-flap volume, it sure beats the alternatives. Merlin uses his powers to turn the turtle into a progression of increasingly large? and damage-prone?creatures. First the turtle becomes a bird (which flies out of reach), then a monkey (which wreaks havoc astride a bike) and so on. By the penultimate sequence, the pet is an elephant, and when it swoops up a frightened Mrs. Merlin in its trunk, Merlin can stand it no more and transforms the creature back into the slow but low-maintenance turtle. Each new animal is partially hidden behind a flap featuring the creature to be zapped. When the monkey's flap is flipped, for example, its legs stay behind to become those of the camel. Chwast (The Twelve Circus Rings) employs pen and ink and color film to produce a densely saturated, almost animated effect. Merlin still sports a flowing robe and a star-studded cone-shaped hat, but his incongruous bourgeois lifestyle (a wife, home, front yard, etc.) further heightens the silliness, keeping readers firmly under his spell. Ages 4-up.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Mr. and Mrs. Merlin are bored with their pet turtle, so Mr. Merlin turns it into a bird. The bird flies into a tree, so he turns it into a monkey. The monkey wreaks havoc on a bicycle, so he turns it into a camel. The camel eats all the oranges on the orange tree, so he turns it into an elephant. The elephant frightens Mrs. Merlin, so Mr. Merlin turns it back into a turtle. Readers help out with the transformations by lifting increasingly complex flaps and watching the head of one animal suddenly appearing on the body of another. The drawings, rendered in pen and ink and filled in with color film, look like comic strips; their muted colors and ridiculous characters--particularly the hapless, long-nosed wizard- -are straight out of the funny pages. True to the genre, they display an uncommon economy of means, perfectly balanced between telling a story and telling a joke: The bicycle leaning against the wall of Mr. Merlin's medieval castle in one picture turns out to be ideal for the monkey in the next. The humor is never pushy and always on target. (Picture book. 4+) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Seymour Chwast
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