A sunny array of card, coin, and doodad magic tricks presented in step-by-step format.
Much of the pleasure of Banfield’s show-and-tell guide to trickery is the sheer joy he brings to the project: “The truth is I get such a rush from the moment I absolutely astound someone with a cool trick.” To introduce each of the four broad categories the 52 tricks are divided among, the young white man offers some basic tools of each of the trades. Within those categories, each move for each trick is shown in numbered sequence and is easy enough to follow with the eye, but it is best to remember Banfield’s words at the beginning of the book. Rule No. 1 is never reveal the secret to a trick: that would take the magic out of it. Rule No. 2: “understand, practice, and master each trick before you perform it.” And rule No. 3 is to enjoy the thrill you give. Tips complement each trick, but they are not shortcuts. They might aid in showing how to add grace to a move or how to distract an audience for that critical, magical second. Banfield has also got a sense of humor: for the “Mind-Reading Code” trick, “you will need: a good memory and an accomplice.” Lastly, Banfield has a magic smile. It is exactly the same in over 60 photographs. Pretty amazing.
Tricks sure to disarm even someone with a bad case of the grumps. (Nonfiction. 8-16)