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The Wizard of Washington Square by Jane…

The Wizard of Washington Square (1969)

by Jane Yolen

Other authors: Ray Cruz (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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When young David, newly arrived in New York City’s Village, meets Leilah in Washington Square Park, he finds himself caught up in an adventure with the second-class wizard who lives under the fountain. Banished to America because of his inability to perform magic properly, the wizard longs for an opportunity to truly help someone, thus fulfilling the Rule of Need and earning a return-summons to Europe. Leilah at first suggests circulating a petition amongst the local residents of the Village, requesting that the wizard be allowed to return home, but when the wizard accidentally turns David’s Scottish Terrier D. Dog into a statue, and that statue is then stolen by an unscrupulous antiques dealer, the wizard is given the opportunity to be of service...

This early Jane Yolen novel, recently reprinted by Starscape books in 2005, does not provide an especially engaging fantasy-adventure, and I have to wonder if it would have been revived at all, if its author were not so highly regarded in the field. I could not involve myself in the (very slight) plot, nor bring myself to care whether or not the wizard ever returned home. That said, as someone who works near Washington Square Park, and has spent some time in the area, I did enjoy the sense the book gives of the atmosphere in the 1960s Village. I also appreciated that this story involved a very matter-of-fact interracial friendship, something not always to be found in the fantasy genre. Finally, I am not sure whether the reprint edition contains the black & white illustrations provided by Ray Cruz that can be found in the original. It would be a shame if it didn't, as they are quite charming. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jun 13, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jane Yolenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cruz, RayIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vess, CharlesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
and a great deal of Love
for Heidi and Adam
First words
Deep in the heart of New York City is a tiny park called Washington Square.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765350165, Mass Market Paperback)

One day, while playing in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, David and Leilah are thrilled to discover a real wizard living behind the little black door in Washington Square Arch. Alas, he is only a second-class wizard, he tells them, and sometimes he has trouble with his spells. So when the Wizard accidentally turns David's Scottish terrier, D. Dog, into a statue and the statue is stolen by Mr. Pickwell, a nasty antiques dealer, it's up to David and Leilah to get D. Dog back--before Mr. Pickwell sells him!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:18 -0400)

David and Leilah are delighted to meet the wizard who lives in the park until he accidently turns David's dog into a statue and the statue is stolen.

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