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THE WIZARD OF RONDO by Emily Rodda Kirkus Star


by Emily Rodda

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-545-11516-2
Publisher: Scholastic

Leo and Mimi’s second venture into Rondo, the world inside Leo’s painted music box, provides frights, pleasures and as much poignant beauty as the first. Upon arrival, Mimi and Leo tackle a mystery with their old team, which includes a wry brown duck and a stylish pig of great strength and sentiment. Wizard Bing is missing and his apprentice arrested, so the team flies by carpet to the scene of the crime, acquiring a clingy, toddler-like cookpot along the way. Rodda flavors Rondo with abundant morsels of classic nursery rhymes and fairy tales, but her plot and prose are fresh and original. Despite clever humor and surreal touches (the apprentice is currently a mushroom), the atmosphere is primarily sober as the team confronts grave dangers and deceptions. The text provides clues for readers eager to solve. Familiarity with The Key to Rondo (2008) is the only prerequisite for loving Leo’s dogged perseverance, Mimi’s poignant loyalty, the team’s frailty and bravery and this wondrous world populated by messenger mice and a singular bedraggled chicken named Moult. (Fantasy. 9-12)