THE MAGIC WORD by Mac Barnett


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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Getting everything you want isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Paxton doesn’t know why he does it, but one night, instead of using the expected magic word to get a cookie, the little white boy says, “Can I have a cookie, / ALAKAZOOMBA?” Magically, a cookie appears in his hand. Not one to let this opportunity pass him by, Paxton asks for another cookie…and a glass of milk…and a walrus that will chase his annoyed and demanding babysitter to the North Pole. But that’s only the beginning. Before too long, Paxton’s house is a veritable utopia of play with everything a young boy could want, except parents or a best friend, who all got the walrus treatment. Eventually, the novelty of being able to do whatever he wants pales next to untucked bed sheets and no partner for a game of Go Fish. But what magic word can make it all right again? It’s not hard to guess. Parsley’s digital illustrations are the stuff of kids’ wildest dreams—roller coasters and water slides, a pet elephant—and facial expressions and body language masterfully convey emotion, especially the devious scene in which the white, teenage babysitter starts to count to three, Paxton hiding in the corner with his forbidden snack, eyebrow cocked evilly as he asks for that walrus.

Parents beware: there are a lot of “magic” words kids will have to try out before getting to “please,” and if you see a walrus, run! (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-06-235484-6
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2016


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