Seventeen simple tricks, many with cleverly prepared ministages on which to perform them.
Aspiring prestidigitators will need to supply coins, string, and a few other props, but the book comes with sets of trick cards and wallets, plus a pop-up “slicer” to chop a paper snake (temporarily). Some double-page spreads also offer atmospherically decorated flat spaces or “zones” for working selected feats. All of the steps in the clear, encouraging instructions are illustrated with digitally rendered illustrations. Cogent reminders that practice makes perfect, useful performance tips, and alternative procedures for thumb-fingered beginners have not been neglected. Directions for trickier tricks are printed upside down behind flaps in order to be visible to the performer but not (supposedly) to the audience. However individually well-chosen for beginners, though, the tricks don’t build to a climax as they should in a proper magic show. Also, the package is problematic for library use considering the many loose pieces and the wand, made by tearing out a perforated sheet and rolling it up.
Not ready for prime time as a “show,” but the interactive elements make up a decent starter kit. (Pop-up nonfiction. 7-11)