Global awareness and dreams that we can solve the world's problems.


Diego is a daydreamer whose fantasies lean to solving problems around the globe. Through family, school, and even his own experience, he has learned about issues that need fixing. Diego worries about community problems like food and water shortages and the lack of schools, as well as bigger issues, like global warming. In his dreams, he a wizard with magical powers that can solve all of these problems. Thos same family members and teachers then show him what he can do in the "real world" to make changes now, and then later when he chooses a career. 

Parent Perspective:
I really like the concept, the illustrations are super, the tie between global issues and career choices is excellent, and I love the material in the back showing how you can use the book with different grade levels! Unfortunately, though, I think The Wizard tried to do too much. This is not a picture book for children younger than third grade. First, there is too much text - both narrative story and sidebars. Second, some of the concepts - including the "magic" of some of the solutions already in place - would be beyond their comprehension. Which brings me to why I struggle to recommend the book: science and scientific developments are characterized as magic. That might be okay if the sidebars weren't there, but they are.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Fun illustrations and world-wise dreams about changing the world will inspire young readers to think big and act small. 

Content Awareness Factors:

The book is really text-heavy. The concept is great, but it gets burdened by the efforts to parallel a narrative story and specific scientific concepts.

Type of Book:
Big hopes and dreams take center stage in this picture book about a boy who wants magic to make them come true.
Educational Themes:

Parallel to Diego's daydreams and magical wand-waving are vignettes about actual scientific and technological developments through history. The back half of the book describes different jobs for each of the different problems (mathematician, scientist, doctor, et al). There are also different sets of activities, sorted by grade level, from first grade through middle school.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
12 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
6 to 10
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. Depending on the audience, you'll either read the story or read the sidebars, but probably not both.

Title The Wizard Who Saved the World
Author Jeffrey Bennett
Publisher Big Kid Science © 2012
Illustrators Roberta Collier-Morales
ISBN 9780972181945
Material Hard Cover
Cost $15.00
Genres Nature, Science, Fantasy, Ecology | Environment
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