A few weeks ago, we started reading Wendell the World’s Worst Wizard. At the time, Braeden was dead set on building a robot so when he heard of Wendell’s interest in the same, he was stoked to know Wendell a bit better. Then, something happened that I did not expect. He connected with Wendell “the maker”. Yes…an artistic robot making storybook character told my nephew that it was okay to be a maker. He hasn’t stopped “making” since.
Every time we met a scenario that correlated to his own life, he’d stop and insist on it being read again. I had no idea that Braeden felt “odd” as a kid who creates things. I had no idea that he was even being teased about it. The book gave him the freedom to open up so much that we owe its writer, John Spencer, a huge pile of thanks!
Wendell is a wizard, who is non-magical, but even Braeden said that magic is what happens when you can build things. The book solidified that thought. Wendell’s “shop” of choice was “THE DUMP”, a collection of human objects that Braeden immediately related to because that’s what he does. He makes things from other things that he finds. He giggled with excitement as we read about Wendell’s desire to be a designer or maker. This was a character that WANTED to do what Braeden LOVED to do. That hasn’t happened in any other book that we’ve read.
Finishing the book took a bit longer than expected because creativity crept its way in once Wendell’s plight inspired Braeden’s journey! The planning for a robot led Braeden to animatronics which led him to puppetry. For the last week, he has been designing and creating puppets with a level of zest that we haven’t seen in a long time. I think that we have Wendell to thank.
For the 8 year old maker, Wendell made “being him” okay.
We would both encourage you all to read Wendell the Word’s Worst Wizard. It is most certainly an amazingly inspiring book for all readers.
In case you missed it…You can watch Braeden talk about one of the robots that he intended to build
Here’s another video of him talking about the puppets that occupy his thoughts now! (facetime)