Kid reviews for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi

Common Sense says

Terrific drawings star in imaginative tale.
Based on our expert review

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Kids say

age 5+
Based on 2 reviews
Teen, 16 years old Written byilhc November 16, 2020

Pretty Good

Miss Hester asks young Alan Mitz to spend the afternoon with her naughty dog Fritz. After Alan defends the parlor furniture and pillows from Fritz's love of chewing and has a nap, Alan takes Fritz for his afternoon walk. Fritz leads the way and they come upon a wall with an open doorway. A sign warns that the garden belongs to a retire magician and reads "absolutely, positively no dogs allowed." Fritz can't read and takes off into the garden beyond. Alan follows frantically and chases the dog further and further until he finally reaches a large house which belongs to the retired magician Gasazi. Bravely, Alan knocks on the door and tells Mr. Gasazi the truth. Mr. Gasazi agrees that he has Fritz and takes Alan out to the garden. But poor Alan- Mr. Gasazi the magician seems to have turned Fritz into a duck. What will Alan tell Miss Hester? Van Allsburg creates a lush, beautiful and mysterious world full of flowers and patterns, shadows and light. It's even more impressive because all of the illustrations are in black and white. The garden of Gasazi seems to go on and on and the house is overwhelming and eerie. The feeling of unease is pervasive despite the abundance of flowers. The repetitive patterns bring continuity to the story and children can imagine themselves running along the paths and over the bridges. I was a bit disconcerted by the text appearing strictly on the left and the pictures on the right. It may be good for reading to young children. They can explore the pictures while the story is being read. It was more fun to ignore the text and just focus on the illustrations to tell the story. Ages 5-10
Kid, 11 years old November 9, 2011

not a perfect van allsburg book (with the usage of drugs), but a great one

If there's one book that stands out from all of C.V. Allsburg's others, it's Abdul Gasazi. This book surprisingly got a 4th-grade level at my old school, although even the most take-time-to-comprehend kind of people could leaf it through in not even five minutes. A good book with the same amazing illustrations as usual, with twists and turns along the way that finally settle at the bewildering ending. But there is some drug use in the book. In one illustration, Abdul the magician is seen smoking like any cartoon smoker would: smoke travels from the cigarette like a chimney, and he puffs circle after circle of smoke from his mouth. But this doesn't stop the book from being a major success that people of all ages should enjoy and adore.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models