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Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite
The Wicked Wizard and the Worms by Judith M. Ackerman is the story of a wicked wizard. His life consists of traveling throughout his world and casting evil spells on anything he sees that is beautiful. Because he himself is ugly he turns whatever he sees into something ugly. One day he visits a peaceful kingdom where the people were kind and beautiful, especially the king and queen and their daughters. He becomes jealous and angry and turns all the people into worms. But then, because there are no people left he becomes lonely and regrets his actions. That’s when the story takes a surprising twist. Not only do the worms change, so does the wizard’s life. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout by Stefan Nikolic.
My children would have enjoyed The Wicked Wizard and the Worms when they were little. Author Judith M. Ackerman doesn’t say what age this book is intended for, but very young children would enjoy having it read to them, and the book would be an excellent primer for those just learning to read. The illustrations by Stefan Nikolic are superb, too. They perfectly depict what’s happening in the text, and children of all ages will appreciate them. Ackerman’s description says the book would be a “great book for the classroom,” and she is right. The “beautiful surprise” that Ackerman’s description mentions is exactly that—I didn’t see the story twist coming at all. I recommend this book to anyone with young children or grandchildren.