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Wizard of Rondo (Rondo)
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Gr 4-6-In the week that has passed since The Key to Rondo (Scholastic, 2008) took place, Leo Zifkak has been carefully studying the music box that contains the world of Rondo, searching for signs of his troublemaking Uncle Spoiler. When the paintings on the outside of the box show evidence that the evil Blue Queen is up to something, Leo and his impulsive cousin Mimi decide that it's time for them to return to Rondo. Once there, they are reunited with their friends Conker, Freda the duck, and Bertha the pig, and are sidetracked by a quest to determine the whereabouts of Bing, a wizard who vanished from the village of Hobnob. The appearance of a cloud palace over Hobnob appears to indicate that the wizard was taken by the Strix, an ancient being that "collects" unusual creatures. All this is a lot to take in, and the story tends to meander. However, Rodda makes up for it in the denizens of Rondo, who are instantly charming and display a variety of quirks, foibles, and virtues. Fans of Cornelia Funke's work will eagerly embrace this fairy-tale-laced world.-Christi Esterle, Parker Library, CO Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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