CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 28. . . .March 31, 2017
Magic in the City.
Heather Dyer. Illustrated by Serena Malyon.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2017.
142 pp., hardcover, $16.95.
Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.
Review by Janet Beauchamp.
“Remarkable!” she said. Then the queen took Simon to the kitchen. “I’ve never been down here,” she said.
The kitchen was full of chefs who had frozen in the middle of mixing, stirring and chopping. Simon and the queen wandered around, dipping their fingers into cake batter, soups and sauces. Then the queen opened a fridge and drank some orange juice straight from the carton. “I feel ever so naughty,” she said. “Don’t you?”
“Not really,” said Simon.
The queen sighed. “You’re probably used to doing whatever you like. But I’m not.”
“But you’re the queen!” said Simon. “You can do whatever you want.”
“Don’t you believe it! There’s always someone telling me what to do and where to go. They even tell me what to wear.”
Jake and his little brother Simon have moved to London, England, with their mom to stay with their aunt for a while because their mom can no longer afford to stay in Canada since a split from their dad. On the day they arrive in London, they come across a magician who is going out of business as nobody cares for magic anymore. From this magician, they get a magic carpet that does not function well when wet, a special stopwatch that can literally stop time, and a magic camera. These three interesting acquisitions lead the boys and their cousin Hannah on some interesting adventures, including a visit with The Queen of England and a short stop on the ship of Sir Walter Raleigh.
Magic in the City is an engaging page-turner. The reader cannot wait to find out how the kids are going to use their wits or their magical devices to get themselves out of the situations in which they keep finding themselves. While I took a few days to read the book, my nine-year-old daughter read it cover to cover in an afternoon. She couldn’t put it down. By the end of the book, the children no longer have two of the three magical items, but I would love to hear about their next adventures. Perhaps they could visit the Queen as she now holds one of the magic devices. Young male and female readers will enjoy this well-written, magical journey through the attractions of London.
Janet Beauchamp, a high school teacher and teacher-librarian and mother of three girls, lives in L’Amable, ON.
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