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Patricia Quinlan
Illustrated by Jirina Marion

Windsor (Ont.), Black Moss Press, 1989. 22pp, paper, $4.95, ISBN 0-88753-188-1
Distributed by Firefly Books

Kindergarten to Grade 3/Ages 5 to 8
Reviewed by Fran Newman.

Volume 17 Number 4
1989 July

All children I have ever taught or known become seriously involved when discussing what they would do if they had one or more magic wishes. Patricia Quinlan has hooked into this belief in magic and writes of Kevin, who finds a magic ring in his Great Uncle Marcus' trunk. This uncle had been a magician and there is more than a bit of humour in that the incantation to make the ring do its business is "ah choo"!

Kevin soon learns that the resulting magic is a complete cessation of activity, a freezing, of all but himself. Thus he is allowed to dream of the power he now has (stopping plane crashes, getting a huge reward and becoming rich), but in fact he uses the power for sneaking jelly beans in his mother's basket, scoring at a soccer game, and saving a baby bird from certain death as it falls from its nest. Then the three days of magic are up and Kevin is left with the satisfaction of that rescue.

Is that all? Surely, with this kind of magic, a boy would not stop at three incidents in three days. Surely the ring would be used for bigger gains! 1 can see a lively discussion ensuing as a teacher, librarian or parent invites the audience to share what they would do with such power.

On the back cover the editors say that this "uplifting tale is really about talents and gifts and how one ought to use them to help others." Perhaps, but the child in me thinks that Kevin could have done better with his uncle's ring.

Jirina Marton has illustrated the book with pleasing blues and browns.

Fran Newman, Murray Centennial Public School. Trenton, Ont.
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