Author: Michael Ende
Description: On New Year’s Eve, Maledictus Maggot, legal officer of His Excellency the Minister of Pitch Darkness, arrives in the laboratory of Shadow Sorcery Minister Beelzebub Preposteror, to remind Beelzebub that he’s behind on his contract to wreak havoc on the world, and that if he does not make good before midnight he’ll be foreclose…
I didn’t get to read this one as a child, I was well into my adult days when I got my hands on it. Why do I mention this? Because the child in me is still angry she didn’t get to read this and enjoy it how only children can.
In this book, Ende brews a potent dose of comic fantasy. The story bubbles thanks to the mischievous wordplay, splashing fun with comical incidents, and has been spiked with just the right dose of verse to make children laugh without annoying the parents who may be reading to them. It’s true that at times the prose, perhaps because of the translation from the German, is not always graceful, but the sheer momentum of the plot and the raw power of Ende’s inventiveness suffice to carry readers all the way through this extravaganza.
The two main characters are animals, a cat -Mauricio- and a bald crow -Jacob- who are both pets of evil masters, the Sorcerer Beelzebub and the witch Tyrannia Vampirella.
This is a fun book with enough of the real world in it to also make it significant in helping children see their surroundings with wiser eyes.
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