Additional Book Information
Series: The New York Review Children's Collection
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
The Night of Wishesor The Satanarchaeolidealcohellish Notion Potion
by Michael Ende, illustrated by Regina Kehn, translated from the German by Heike Schwarzbauer and Rick Takvorian
It’s 5pm on New Year’s Eve in the Villa Nightmare, and as Shadow Sorcery Minister Beelzebub Preposteror’s thumb-striking clock counts down each hour with an “Ouch!”, Minister Preposteror draws closer to missing his midnight deadline for fulfilling his annual quota of evil deeds and being “foreclosed.” Up against a tight deadline and threats from His Hellish Excellency, the Minister of Pitch Darkness himself, Preposteror has all but given up when the arrival of an unexpected visitor promises hope: his aunt, the witch Tyrannia Vampirella, who proposes that they work together to brew the Notion Potion, a powerful formula that will grant all their evil wishes.
The Night of Wishes, from The Neverending Story author Michael Ende, anticipates the world of Harry Potter: a world in which magic is not only very real, and wielded by both forces good and evil, but also bureaucratized, with its practitioners fitting into a tightly regulated hierarchical system.
Good confronts evil in a comic adventure spiced with rambunctious wordplay and deepened by allusions to the world's real afflictions. Clever and highly imaginative.
The Night of Wishes is a kind of goofy Paradise Lost for middle-schoolers. You can't get much better than that.
—The New York Times Book Review
A potent dose of comic fantasy, bubbling over with clever wordplay and slapstick incidents, and spiked with verse.
Makes for enjoyable and thought-provoking reading.
—Los Angeles Times