Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Review - Schnitzel

Schnitzel: A Cautionary Tale for Lazy Louts
by Stephanie Shaw
illustrated by Kevin M. Barry
Date: 2016
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Apprenticed to a famous wizard, young Schnitzel is not known for his hard work. In fact, it's just the opposite. He's lazy and lacks motivation. So late one night, when a door-to-door salesman selling vacuum cleaners offers to help, Schnitzel sees an answer to his housecleaning woes. Little does he know, however, that this is no ordinary salesman and the vacuum is no ordinary dust-buster. In this retelling of the classic tale The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Schnitzel is about to find out why it's never a good idea to invite a cape-wearing, fang-toothed stranger in after dark. Fortunately for him, there's magical help ready to lend a hand.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

What a strange book! Schnitzel is a retelling of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"... with vampires. Yeah, I don't really get that part; it seems really random. Basically, Schnitzel (the apprentice) is lazy and doesn't want to vacuum with the crotchety old appliance (that's the bug-like thing on the cover, apparently). So when a door-to-door vacuum salesman--who happens to be a vampire--shows up with the promise of a more efficient suck, Schnitzel takes him up on the offer... only to see the whole house disappear into the vacuum bag and the vampire make a claim on his neck. If you're familiar with the original story, you can guess how this one ends.

The story is told in rhyme, which does flow pretty well. The illustrations are quirky and fun. But I just don't see what a vampire has to do with anything. Okay, a vampire and a vacuum both suck, but... it still seems random.

Overall, this is kind of amusing. I don't think it'll ever be a favourite retelling of mine, but it's fun to see less well-known stories retold once in a while.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: 4/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.29 out of 5

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