I read a book back in the early 2000s, possibly, about a boy that goes through a portal and meets a magician.

The boy works for the magician and ends up being gifted a saucepan as a helmet.

Sadly, I don't remember anything else and have been unable to find anything online - help would be greatly appreciated!

1 Answer 1


Muddle Earth (2003) from Paul Stewart maybe?

Muddle Earth cover with various cartoonish characters

Book's back cover, courtesy of Goodreads:

Joe Jefferson is an ordinary schoolboy from ordinary Earth. At least, he was. But something strange happened when he was walking his dog, and now he's Joe the Barbarian—fearless warrior-hero, summoned by Muddle Earth's leading wizard* to slay ogres, wrestle dragons, and bravely confront villains.

Joe doesn't feel much like a warrior-hero.** But evil is stirring in the heart of Elfwood, and the people of Muddle Earth need help (although most of them don't know it yet). Perhaps Joe Jefferson really is a hero after all...

* Actually, Muddle Earth's only wizard. And he's not very good.

** He doesn't really look much like one either.

It's a very funny parody of Lord of the Rings. At the beginning of the book, Randalf opens a portal on Earth, and Joe's dog goes right through it, so Joe follows him and ends up in Muddle Earth.

As for the saucepan, at some point he goes with the (fraud) wizard to a city, to be "equipped" for his future tasks as a knight/warrior/whatever. He has high hopes, seeing shiny armors, but the wizard's broke so they look through hand-me-downs and get him a saucepan as his helmet:

drawing of Randalf and Joe, Joe wearing the saucepan helmet

  • Thanks, I've been looking for this for years :D! Obviously not very well...
    – Spoon
    Commented May 12, 2018 at 13:55
  • @Spoon you're welcome! And no worries, I only found it because I remembered it from my childhood, not through hard, complex research ;) that was quite a good read by the way.
    – Jenayah
    Commented May 12, 2018 at 13:59
  • This sounds like one my kids would love, will have to look it up!
    – Jane S
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 3:24

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