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BRAIN WIZARDRY by Ron Van der Meer


by Ron Van der Meer, illustrated by Tim Dyer

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7641-6382-1
Publisher: Barron’s

Poor organization and explanation dilute the success of this rather cool interactive book of optical illusions and magic tricks. Van der Meer takes an educational approach, informing readers that the book will explore “different aspects of how the brain deals with the handling and processing of information.” “Mind Bogglers” addresses relative size and length and includes some word trickery; “Magic Tricks” presents technology-enabled tricks and so forth. Unfortunately, some of the instructions are unclear: One of the card tricks will only work if the “card” is rotated 180 degrees, but this is not specified; in other elements, pulling the tab as instructed doesn’t seem to produce the effect predicted. Another complicating factor is that it is often difficult to find the relevant instructions for each trick or game. A good idea imperfectly executed. (Pop-up nonfiction. 8-12)