Wizardology The Book of the Secrets of Merlin by Dugald A. Steer

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    Wizardology The Book of the Secrets of Merlin  by  Dugald A. Steer  © 2005  Candlewick Press         ISBN 0763628956    32 pages   hardcover  $19.99 (U.S.)  $27.99 (Canada)


    This is a novelty book for children ages 8 and up.  The author has produced other “ology” books (Dragonology and Egyptology).  It contains a number of surprises for the young reader including a fairy flag and a phoenix feather and a deck of divinatory cards among other hidden treasures.


    Obviously, this is a fun book and not intended to teach the serious word of wizardry.  For all of that, it contains some very real information as well as some mysteries to be solved by the young reader.  There is even a secret message, written in cipher, to be found and translated.


    The illustrations are gorgeous and evocative of the training of wizards of old.  The “hand lettering” in some of the illustration is easy to read,  The information contained within the covers of this book, while fanciful, does contain some useful tidbits.  Some of the more obscure herbs are identified, there are stories told (Taleisin and the Legend of Merlin), there is a small table of correspondences, and other gems of knowledge.  It is the sort of book which, if I had young children, I would be glad to see them receive.


    On top of everything else, the book will look impressive on your child’s bookshelf (or on your own shelf if you are reluctant to leave it in their care).  Of course you could also leave it out on your coffee table and be sure of inquiring glances and more than few questions.


    Is it a “good” book for children?  That depends on your definition of good.  It is fun, informative, and will undoubtedly light up the face of any child who receives it.


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