The Wizard in My Shed: Misadventures of Merdyn the Wild is written by Simon Farnaby and illustrated by Claire Powell. I would like to thank Hachette Australia for the review copy.
Merdyn the Wild is from the Dark Ages. He’s the world’s greatest Warlock (don’t call him a wizard), banished to the 21st century for bad behaviour, and he’s about to create a whole load of trouble for Rose, aged 12.
Rose is a totally ordinary girl, on a mission to mend her broken family.
Bubbles is Rose’s guinea pig. He just poos a lot.
When Rose bumps into Merdyn and discovers what he is, she quickly realises that he could be just what she needs. Rose agrees to help Merdyn navigate the confusing ways of the modern world (things like: the lidded bowl in the bathroom is NOT a sink, it’s a TOILET, so definitely DON’T wash your face in it) if Merdyn gives her a spell to fix her family in return.
Now they just need to hide him in the shed without Rose’s mum noticing, track down Merdyn’s magic staff and find a way to send Merdyn back through time to the Dark Ages. What could possibly go wrong…?
This was a fantastic read and from the beginning Farnaby drew me in thinking about the Dark Ages and the possibility of magic. The main characters of Merdyn and Rose balanced each other out and I loved reading from each of their perspectives.
I really enjoyed the development of Merdyn as we see him change over the course of the book and Rose trying to get him home. The use of rhyme was fantastically used to add detail and whit to the end of some chapters. The change in Merdyn from the supposed bad guy to the hero
The world, the Pope, The President and Queen; all prayed for a hero to undo what they just seen
and the good guy Jerabo turned out to be evil.
He flipped the pages with his thumbs, watch out future, here the wicked wizard comes
I really loved the reveal of Rose being Merdyn’s descendant and having the ability to do magic if she just believed in herself. This book deals with many themes but family, friendship and kindness are the key ones. Both Rose and Merdyn find true friends and the meaning of those who you can actual trust and who are real. Rose’s family become closer and Merdyn understands that he needs to use his magic for good.
Merdyn must have gone home, become good and wise, used his powers for the benefit of others as he’d promised. In fact, he had become, perhaps through some misspelling over time, the man we now know as …Merlin.
The illustrations are amazing and add much more to the book. We are able to see the characters as well as important aspects of scenes through the illustrations. The little explanations at the bottom of the page as footnotes are an awesome touch. The choice of font and words in bold, italics and movement of words on the page truly make this book.
I would definitely recommend this book and it is definitely one that can be a class novel in primary classes, grades 3 to 6.