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THE BOY AND THE SPELL by Pegi Deitz Shea


adapted by Pegi Deitz Shea & illustrated by Serena Riglietti

Pub Date: April 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-9646010-4-4
Publisher: Pumpkin House

In the art animating this handsomely packaged retelling of Colette’s libretto for Ravel’s opera, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, a tale of childish rage and remorse, jumbles of suddenly animate objects in twisted perspectives create an evocatively skewed reality. So frustrated is Thomas with his math homework that he throws a violent, kicking, tearing tantrum—only to see the assaulted items in his room acquire faces and rise up threateningly. Matching the art’s sophistication with pinches of wit—“Clock ticked him off, calling ‘cuckoo’ five times”—and rhyme, Shea tells the tale quickly but smoothly. All ends in smiles, as Thomas’s sincere apologies restore domestic peace and leave him just enough time to finish his math before dinner. The story hangs together even without music and staging, making it suitable for sharing even when a trip to the theater isn’t in the offing. (Picture book. 6-8)