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The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Willard, Nancy

90 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0590473298 / ISBN 13: 9780590473293
Published by Blue Sky Press, New York, 1993
Used Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Warwick Books, member IOBA (South Pasadena, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Hardcover with dust jacket. First edition. Book is in near fine condition; two corners are lightly bumped. Jacket is in near fine condition as well; there is light wear to edges. Lush color illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon. A bright, clean copy. Price-clipped. 4to. Unpaginated. Bookseller Inventory # 13496

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Publisher: Blue Sky Press, New York

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


A retelling of the centuries-old tale follows Sylvia, a spirited girl apprenticed to a sorcerer, as she steals from his castle a powerful potion that she is sure will help her complete a difficult task.

From Booklist:

Ages 6-10. The old story of the powerful magician and the awkward apprentice who messes with the magic has been told again and again from ancient Greece to Goethe to Disney's Fantasia. In this version for the 1990s, the apprentice-hero is a confident young woman. With long red hair, checked trousers, and high-heeled clogs, Sylvia comes riding up to the sorcerer's mountain on an old-fashioned large-wheeled bike. As in her 1982 Newbery Medal-winning A Visit to William Blake's Inn, Willard tells her story in lively rhyme that jumps with the unexpected. The Dillons' full-page watercolors, exquisitely drawn in meticulous detail, show domestic uproar just about to burst out of the tight gold frames. In fact, there are a few tiny spot illustrations outside the frame on each page. The sorcerer's house has 57 doors and "knockers made of gnashing teeth"; there are eyes everywhere, and his creatures are neurotic, brooding, sinister, and clownish. Words and pictures work together perfectly to make us see that chaos is "very near"; everything is in a state of transformation. The more you look, the more shapes change and slither and leap out as something different. The best scene of all shows the sorcerer ordering the dishes to wash each other ("The spoons leapt up and scrubbed the plates"). He's in control. In contrast, when Sylvia's task is to make clothes for all the creatures, she can't control anything. She's overwhelmed; even the scissors try to bite her hand. In desperation, she pours the sorcerer's potion on the sewing machine--and creates the wildest nightmare. The machine reveals its monstrous teeth: it bursts from the house and hems the trees; it stitches the mountains, snips the moon, bites the sun, until the sorcerer returns and order is restored. In a lovely last line, Willard gives the old cautionary tale a moral for today: Sylvia has learned to turn "failures into fairy tales." Hazel Rochman

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Warwick Books, is an Internet-only bookseller that specializes in hard-to-find books for avid readers and collectors. Many of our books are out of print. Specialties include literature, signed firsts, art and photography, design, illustrated books, cookbooks, field guides, children's books, needlecraft books, and Americana. We recently acquired a large private collection of books on military history. The focus is on World War II as well as aviation history. Warwick Books is a member of IOBA, the Independent Online Booksellers Association.

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We accept personal checks, money orders, Paypal, and credit card payments through ABE's secure ABE Commerce arrangement. California residents add 9.5 percent sales tax. Please e-mail or phone to confirm availability of books before sending payment. We can be reached at Warwick Books, 101 Warwick Place, South Pasadena, CA, att: Suzanne Mantell. Phone 323-683-3294; e-mail All items are guaranteed as described. We ship all books well protected in bubble wrap and boxes. Bo...

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