ARC · book review

The Wizard of Tut-Tut-Bun by John McCarrick

Becoming The Wizard of Tut-Tut-Bun (The Wizard of Tut-Tut-Bun, #0)

3.5 Stars (rounded up to 4 stars for all sites that use a star system)

Publisher:

Date of publication: April 28th, 2018

Genre: Children, Fantasy

Where you can find The Wizard of Tut-Tut-Bun: Amazon

Book Synopsis (from Amazon):

Far away in a country you don’t know there’s a valley where magic happens. Some of the magic is good but much of it is evil. At the center of the war between good and evil is Billy Bottom. He lives in the woods in the hills overlooking the village of Tut Tut Bun — and is a good wizard. His closest friends are the trees and the creatures of the woods. 

Start your adventure alongside the children of Tut Tut Bun as they first get to know Billy Bottom. Then join them in their quest to rid the valley of evil. 

This fantasy adventure story is for children who want to engage with the conflicts in the world today. Issues such as child labor, pollution and deforestation come up in Billy Bottom’s campaign against wicked forces. Can good overcome evil?

Join the Wizard of Tut Tut Bun and his friends to find out!

My Review:

I didn’t read anything to do with children’s books until after my oldest daughter was born. Then I started hoarding children’s books. By the time my son was born, 2 years later, she had a pretty sizable collection. As they grew older, I started to realize that there weren’t any good fantasy books for kids between the ages of 3-6. I never stopped searching and after my youngest was born, actually stepped it up. So when I was approached to review The Wizard of Tut-Tut-Bun, my first response was no. Then I thought about it and decided to give this book a try. I am glad I did because I enjoyed this book a lot.

The Wizard of Tut-Tut-Bun is a collection of stories about Billy Bottom, a wizard who lives in the woods above the town of Tut-Tut-Bun. 20 years before, the mayor of the town banned the children from climbing up Near Hill, claiming it was dangerous. That all changed when 3 children drew the short straws and began their climb up Near Hill. Instead of finding a desolate forest, they find Billy and his magical companions.  But there is evil that lurks near Tut-Tut-Bun. It is up to Billy and his friends to find ways of getting rid of the bad elements that keep popping up.

I thought that Billy Bottom was a great character. Here was a wizard living above a town and he does everything to protect it. He teaches the children valuable lessons about teamwork. He always was there for the children, even when the adults weren’t.

I liked the children too. They were resourceful and thought outside the box the few times that Billy wasn’t around to save them. They learned their lessons from Billy too. I liked that compassion and teamwork was stressed.

I did feel that there needed to be more world building in the book. What the author has is great but it could be expanded on. Same goes for the characters. I felt that I only got to know a small part of Billy Bottom and the children. If the author could put more detail into them and their background, this book would shine.

The writing style did take a little while to get used to. It was very stilted. But once I got used to the writing style, the book flowed for me. I also kept in the back of my mind that this book was written off of stories that the author told his grandchildren. It might not flow the way us as readers are used to. It flows like someone telling a story and pausing every so often to take a breath or a sip of a drink.

The end of Tut-Tut-Bun was a surprise. The twist that the author threw in did surprise me. I kinda saw it coming but at the same time, I didn’t see it coming. I hope that the author does continue writing about the world of Tut-Tut-Bun. There are more stories to be gotten out of it.

What I liked about The Wizard of Tut-Tut-Bun:

A) Likable characters

B) Could be read to younger children

C) Great lessons and morals woven into the story

What I disliked about The Wizard of Tut-Tut-Bun:

A) Book needs more world building

B) Characters need more detail

C) The writing style was hard to get used to

I would give The Wizard of Tut-Tut-Bun a rating of Child. I would use discretion about reading to children under the age of 5. There are some scenes that could be scary to younger children. There is some mild violence. There is no sexual situations or language.

There are triggers in The Wizard of Tut-Tut-Bun. They are kidnapping and child enslavement. If those trigger you or the child you are reading the book to/with, do not read the book.

I am on the fence about recommending  The Wizard of Tut-Tut-Bun to family and friends. If I did recommend, I would include a warning about the triggers. I am also on the fence about rereading this book. But I am open to reading anything else the author decides to put out.

I would like to thank for allowing me to read and review The Wizard of Tut-Tut-Bun.

All opinions stated in this review of The Wizard of Tut-Tut-Bun are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

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