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The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Written by & illustrated by Gerda Muller
Published by Floris Books
4.63 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.1 / 5.0
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Prices as of Jan 26
Retail Price
used $17.95
Sep 29, 2020
Publication Date
Target Age

What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

“A straightforward retelling of the famous story that will be appreciated by fans of Muller’s style.”

Unhappy as a lonely goatherd for an unfriendly farmer, the orphan Oliver decides to run away. He travels all day in search of work, finally knocking on the door of Alfred the sorcerer, who takes Oliver in as his apprentice. In return for hard work, Oliver gets to learn from Alfred, including learning three magic words—“bullicare,” “abantiare,” and “oboedire.” After promising to only use the words in Alfred’s presence, Oliver breaks Alfred’s trust by using the words unattended in hopes of magically completing a list of chores. This results in disaster and the entire town being flooded, as Oliver doesn’t know the magic word for “stop.” Though disappointed, Alfred forgives Oliver after he promises to never “do anything so silly again” and helps clean up the village. The story ends confirming that Oliver becomes the village’s next sorcerer. Muller revisits the famous poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe with her straightforward, matter-of-fact storytelling and signature illustration style, so while there isn’t much by way of flourish or embellishment in either, the illustrations depict thoughtful details about settings and characters, like Alfred’s peculiar belongings as a sorcerer, and Oliver’s enjoyment of bossing others around. Full of the expected morals and lessons gleaned from this classic tale—keeping promises, penitence, and forgiveness—Muller’s retelling will delight fans of her work, while others may find it less charming than other variations, like Tomie dePaola’s beloved adaptation, Strega Nona.

What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

When poor orphan boy Oliver becomes a sorcerer’s apprentice, he enters an incredible new world. He learns wonderful magic spells, the secrets of nature, and how to make healing potions and oils from his kindly new master.

One day the sorcerer goes on a journey. Bored with his endless chores, Oliver enchants some brooms to do the work for him. But when the spell gets out of control, how can Oliver stop the magic?

This classic tale about the importance of hard work was the inspiration for Disney’s Fantasia, and is presented here in a beautifully illustrated edition from renowned artist Gerda Muller, creator of USBBY-honored A Year in Our New Garden.

What Kind of Book is The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

B is for Bookworm
Book-loving mommy-to-be! Recently enjoyed The Hobbit, Becoming, and The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel.
4.5 / 7.0
The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
4.5 / 7.0
The Goodfather
Favorite pastime? Reading with my kids. Just finished Nana Cracks the Case!
4.75 / 7.0
Mom of Boys
Mom of three little boys who love books about dragons, whangdoodles and magic.
4.75 / 7.0

Book Lists That Include The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Book Topics › values and virtues
Children's Books About Values And Virtues
Book Topics › social themes
Children's Books About Social Themes
Book Topics › fiction
Children's Books About Fiction
Book Topics › fairy tales and folklore
Children's Books About Fairy Tales And Folklore
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Who Illustrated The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Gerda Muller

Gerda Muller was born in 1926 in Naarden, Holland. She attended the Fine Arts School of Amsterdam and Ecole Estienne of Paris. She has illustrated over 120 books for children and her books have been translated into many languages. She is the illustrator of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Town Musicians of Bremen, A Year Around the Great Oak, A Year in Our New Garden, How Does My Garden Grow?, Where Do They Go When It Rains and the ‘Seasons’ board books (all Floris Books).

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What Has Gerda Muller Said About This Book

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Book Details

Publication Date:
September 29, 2020
Illustration Details:
The illustrations in this book were created using gouache, colored pencil and graphite.

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