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The Wizard of Washington Square Mass Market Paperback – February 24, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 13 years
  • Mass Market Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Starscape (February 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765350165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765350169
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,782,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A palpable mixture of magic, nonsense, and a light-hearted splash of local color.... A blithe and bouncy book."--Saturday Review on The Wizard of Washington Square


"A palpable mixture of magic, nonsense, and a light-hearted splash of local color…. A blithe and bouncy book." (Saturday Review)

About the Author

Jane Yolen is the distinguished author of more than 250 books for children, teens, and adults. She has earned many awards over the years, including the World Fantasy Award, two Nebula Awards, the Society of Children's Book Writers Golden Kite Award, three Mythopoeic Society Aslan Award, two Christopher Medals, the Boy's Club Jr. Book Award, the Garden State Teen Book Award, the California Young Reader's Medal, New York State's Charlotte Award, the Daedalus Award, a number of Parents' Choice Magazine Awards, four Honorary Doctorates, and many more awards and citations for her work. Ms. Yolen lives in with her husband in Hatfield, Massachusetts, and St. Andrews, Scotland.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 25, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Preadolescent David accompanied by his canine D. Dog walks around Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village feeling lonely. His family has just relocated from Connecticut to New York and he has no friends. When his canine's ball lands in the fountain in the middle of the park he meets Leilah who goes into the water to retrieve the toy. Leilah informs him that the fountain is home to a wizard.

David scoffs at the inane girl, but soon they encounter THE WIZARD OF WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK, who explains he is a second rate failure, which is why he has been exiled to the land of non-believers. He proves his incompetence when he accidentally turns D. Dog into a statue. Before the Wizard can figure out how to rectify his blunder, antiques dealer Mr. Pickwell steals the statue to sell it. David and Leilah team up to retrieve D. Dog while the Wizard works on a reversal spell.

THE WIZARD OF WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK is a fantastic urban fantasy that the elementary school crowd and their parents will enjoy. The story line enchants the audience as David and Leilah become friends while trying to rescue his dog from a terrible fate. The Wizard will remind readers of Oz as he bungles spells. Jane Yolen entertains her young readers with a fine friendship fantasy.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carleeleeleelee on July 3, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I remember finding this book in the small library at my elementary school when I was in third grade. I was so excited by the yellowed pages and torn cover. As soon as I started reading it I was enthrawled and I didn't put it down once that WHOLE night. You can't imagine how thrilled I was when I was able to return it to the library the next day! It is cute and humorous and just a fun read for a little kid. It is the Pre-Harry Potter wizard novel, and a much easier, less frightening read for the youger set. I can't wait to read it again with a new set of eyes!
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By W. A. Kuehl on September 22, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The book arrived in good shape and was a fun read. It's a story about hidden magic right under our noses, only to be seen my those who are young at heart.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By bensmomma on May 29, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
We were quite eager to read "Wizard" because Jane Yolen's "How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight" is a great personal favorite around our house, but "The Wizard of Washington Square" doesn't match it in wit, characterization, or even entertainment value.

This book leaves the impression that Yolen succumbed to an editor's pleadings to write something for the Harry Potter crowd. The plot involves a little 3-foot tall wizard who lives in the arch in New York's Washington Square Park. Since we used to live a block away and play in the playground there, we thought this would be great! But Yolen doesn't have much of a feel for New York (the author's note says she lives in Massachusetts and Scotland); she seems to think the park is still full of beatniks and old men playing chess.

Several details give the sensation that Yolen's heart is just not in this - the kid picks up the marble dog-sized statue and carries it around; a magical table "the size of a door" goes through a subway turnstile without difficulty or comment.

The plot is mild in the extreme; it involves two kids who make friends with the wizard, who deems himself "second class" for reasons that are not explained, and who somehow changes the hero's dog into a marble statue. An evil Snidely-Whiplash-style art dealer villain snaps up the dog statue to tell in his shop; the kids and the wizard try to get it back. As a measure of the speed at which the plot moves, I'll point out that several pages of this modest 78-page novel are devoted to a petition drive. I've yet to meet a kid thrilled or entertained by a petition drive!

Readers are advised to stick to Yolen's picture books, which have charm, poetry, and wit.
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