Schnitzel: A Cautionary Tale for Lazy Louts (March 2017’s Pick PLUS a Giveaway!)


cover (stephanie shaw

Author:            Stephanie Shaw         

Illustrator:       Kevin M. Barry

Publisher:       Sleeping Bear Press

ISBN:  978-1-58536-957-7

Release Date:  Fall, 2016

All about it:   

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.


Opening lines:

I am Apprentice Schnitzel.

I once served Sir Willibald.

His wizardry was world-renowned

And I was quite enthralled.


But Willibald was very strict.

His rules were etched in stone.

My duty was to clean the house

And leave the spells alone.



Favorite page spread: 

Schitnel interior spread


What will kids (and adults) take away after they’ve read it: 

I hope readers will have lots laughs with this story.  Despite the fact that there is a vampire involved, there’s plenty of fun to be had as the vacuum cleaner swallows and belches its way through the wizard’s home.  I also hope that teachers will see the potential (as suggested in the Author’s Notes) for kids to explore the fun of developing a retelling of a classic story.  It’s a great way to encourage writing as kids can take a story they are very familiar with and add their own twist.

About the author:

  Stephanie Shaw

The very first book I remember being given to me as a child (110 years ago) was THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE.  This was pre-Disney version.  I still have the book and the illustrations are stunning.   Although I didn’t set out to write a re-telling of the story, I think that early introduction stuck with me.

I’ve been writing for the past nine years or so and now have ten books in publication. I am a native Oregonian and recently moved to the San Francisco Bay area.  When I am not writing I love taking long walks at a wetlands near where I live with my husband and my mini labradoodle Milo.

More about me can be seen at: