Tuesday, October 27, 2009

National Magic Week

Celebrated annually beginning on October 25, International Magic Week takes place to celebrate the world of magic and the magicians who create it. The week culminates on October 31, the anniversary of Houdini's death and Magic Day.
-The Teacher's Calendar, 2008-2009

Base, Graeme.
Abrams Books for Young Readers.

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

Enter a magical world in this warm, funny, and enduring story about the special relationship between a grandson and his grandpa—and their love for magic. Bertie Badger loves to visit the Retirement Home for Elderly Magicians and watch his grandpa perform magic tricks. But one day all the magicians’ props go missing, so Bertie sets off to investigate. Can he solve the mystery in time to save the show? This clever book will engage readers as they are challenged to solve the mystery along with Bertie, discovering where the missing props have gone by using a decoder included with the book that reveals the mystery.

This is a great book to get children actively involved in the reading process, as children are prompted to search for specific items related to the story on each page. The illustrations are amazing and are sure to have children engaged! I've seen other Graeme Base stories in the past, but none of them caught my attention (and kept it) as much as this one! Perhaps this book would be perfect to use with children as a read-aloud over a school vacation. Read it at the beginning of the week. Borrow some library books that will teach them some magic tricks. Have each child choose two or three. Practice all week. On Friday or Saturday, allow children to have a sleep-over or pizza party, inviting a friend or two. Allow your children to put on a magic show for all of their friends to show off all their hard work.

Wallace, Ian.
The Man Who Walked the Earth.
Douglas & McIntyre.

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

Andre and Elise’s father has gone in search of work, and may not be home for Christmas. The day he left, their mother set an extra place at the table in case a hungry stranger visits. “Wherever your father is, I hope someone will set a place for him,” she says. Eight months later, no one has come to their door. Then a mysterious stranger arrives on Christmas night and performs dazzling magic tricks. Can he use magic to bring back their father? In this wonderful story about the rewards of being kind to strangers, Ian Wallace has performed his own kind of magic.

This is a great read-aloud for National Magic Week. The illustrations are such that you actually can feel the magic taking place! Not only is this book appropriate for this week, it's also an interesting choice for a Christmas read, as it takes place during the Christmas season.

Lesson Plans/Learning Activities:
If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to Amazon.com.


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