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Wizard in Wonderland

By: Jean Ure
Narrated by: Brian Cant
Length: 2 hrs and 9 mins
Categories: Children, Ages 8-10
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

‘I am on holly day. Meet me in the wood, same as before for FUN AND ADVENCHER’. No sooner have twins Joel and Gemma received this note from Junior Wizard Ben-Muzzy than the friends are off on a second magical trip.This time they find themselves in Wonderland, with Airy Fairies, Paddiwack Gnomes and the Great Nurdle Bore. But Ben-Muzzy’s spells are as bad as his spelling, so trouble is never far away!

©1991 Jean Ure (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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Not quite 'Harry Potter', but decent enough

Having listened to all three books in the ‘Wizard’ Trilogy, I feel that this is the weakest in the series. In a time where many readers of any age expect strong continuity and gradual character development in any franchise, this book falls rather flat in its execution. Ben-Muzzy doesn’t seem to learn anything from his adventure - especially as he was the cause of it! - and even with a happy ending it ends so abruptly that we're left to the imagination of “what happened next”. No prologue which explains the repercussions of Ben-Muzzy’s actions, that sort of thing.

What’s more frustrating is that, apart from the third book - ‘The Wizard and the Witch’ - there’s little continuity or connections between all three. There are particular moments or characters that feel as though they could have been expanded upon for a future story. But for all the world-building that she’s done, Jean seems more keen to hop to the next fantastical adventure without much thought for an ongoing story in mind. On a whole, most of the adventures are self-contained in each book, and the many secondary characters that are mentioned or featured throughout either don’t serve any real purpose or play their part in their story alone and then disappear forever.

However, for some, I suppose it’s more about the journey than the destination. There are still plenty of moments that will keep you entertained and raise a giggle or two. If you fancy something akin to Lewis Carroll, where the characters somehow muddle their way through one fantastical world after another with no real intent or purpose, then these stories might be what you’re looking for.


(PS: the album cover for this particular audiobook is very misleading as the wizard bears no resemblance at all to the more youthful Ben-Muzzy - just thought I’d mention it!)