Leitmeritz the wizard solves everyone's problems with the help of his Red Book of Spells. But he can't help his assistant, Chancery, the sad blue man whom the villagers call the Ugly. One day, while the wizard is away, Chancery asks the Red Book of Spells to make him handsome, with unexpected consequences.
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Pablo Bernasconi was born in Buenos Aires in August, 1973. He graduated from the Universidad de Buenos Aires as a graphic designer, where he later teached design for over 6 years. He started as an illustrator in Clarin Newspaper in 1998 where he worked as a designer too, making covers for over 200 editions. His work is also published at these newspapers: La Voz de Galicia (Spain), La Nacion de Costa Rica, The Asian Wall Street Journal (Japan) the New York Times and The Times (England). Some of his clients in Argentina: Rolling Stone magazine, Nueva, Latido, Insider, Pc Users, Comtools, Editorial Planeta, Estrada, Editorial SM, Longseller, Sudamericana, Correo Argentino, Grupo Quadro, Secretaria de Turismo, Gobierno de la Ciudad, Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo. He works today in Germany, USA, England, Australia and Spain, through agents. He won three awards of excellence (2001, 2002, 2004) in the Society of News Design (SND) competition, on the category art and illustration individual portfolio and cover, from Clarin (Argentina) and La voz de Galicia (Spain) newspapers. (www.snd.org)From School Library Journal:
Grade 1-4–Up seventeen thousand, two hundred and nine stairs lives Leitmeritz, a wizard who can grant people their innermost wishes by using the spells in his Red Book. He has often warned his assistant, a square-headed, blue fellow with mismatched eyes and a strange jaw, not to touch the book, for Wizardry concerns wizards, and that's only me. But when Leitmeritz leaves the castle to help a unicorn in distress, Chancery opens the book and asks it to make him handsome. Letters and images fly out, and although he painstakingly replaces them before his master's return, disaster ensues. Suddenly, none of the spells work, and when a cure for sore feet causes a foot to sprout from the king's head, the wizard faces the ruler's wrath. Chancery finally confesses the truth, and Leitmeritz tells him that he can only set things right by making himself handsome without using magic. Bernasconi's collage illustrations are superimposed on letter cutouts and patterns, and the playful images that border the text invite close scrutiny. The sorcerer is a rotund, carrot-nosed individual with patched clothing, white curly whiskers right down to his fancy high-heeled shoes, and a pointy hat. Chancery's surprise resolution is a commentary on the true nature of beauty, and his behavior is reminiscent of that other bungling magician's assistant, Tomie dePaola's Big Anthony.–Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
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