Enigma: A Magical Mystery

( 2 )


Bestseller Graeme Base harks back to his classic New York Times bestselling solve-the-mystery story The Eleventh Hour in an all-new book that will “puzzle” and entice young readers.

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 ...

See more details below
BN.com price
(Save 23%)$19.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (36) from $1.99   
  • New (12) from $11.74   
  • Used (24) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...


Bestseller Graeme Base harks back to his classic New York Times bestselling solve-the-mystery story The Eleventh Hour in an all-new book that will “puzzle” and entice young readers.

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.

Graeme Base, creator of Animalia and many bestselling and beloved books for children, conjures up an inventive, irresistible tale.

F&P level: S

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Akin to The Eleventh Hour, this über-puzzle of a picture book asks readers to crack codes and find hidden pictures, all in aid of solving a mystery relayed in rhyming quatrains. Young Bertie Badger arrives at the opulent country home of his grandfather, "a conjurer of note" known as Gadzooks the Great, anticipating an extraordinary magic show, but-horrors!-Gadzooks's and the other performers' props have disappeared. Readers could simply hunt for the missing objects, which Base conceals within elaborately detailed paintings, but then they would miss out on the tricky fun of mastering several codes also embedded in the book-not to mention that finding those hidden pictures without benefit of the encoded clues isn't easy, not even for alums of Where's Waldo?For the impatient, Base supplies a huge hint; where Eleventh Hour forced the desperate to break a seal to get answers, readers need not alter anything to avail themselves of help, making this volume a cinch to share. A set of bonus challenges will keep kids (and older siblings) poring closely over the pages for weeks, enthralled. Ages 5-10. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Michael Chabin
It is a treat, simply to open this book. It is beautifully designed and has a handsome typeface. The illustrations are gorgeous, sprawling across the page, rich with hidden detail and obvious charm. Best of all, the verse is sweet and patient and funny: "Her trick was reading minds, but now her own had gone astray—'Poor Polly's lost her crackers!' was the only thing she'd say." It seems Gadzookes the Great has lost his wand. Without it the greatest magician of his time cannot do magic. But who might have taken it? Could it be the Bear of Wrath or the floating panda Hoo Min Foo? Mistress Hypnosis perhaps or the terrible toothless tiger? Gadzooks own grandson Bertie investigates them all. Each is a magician of note and each has lost an essential magical tool. Though clues are scattered everywhere, Bertie does not solve the mystery. A timely confession does. Unfortunately the thief cannot remember where the stolen magical items are. It is up to the reader to discover that by searching the pages very carefully or deciphering the code, with the help of a code book cleverly built in to the back cover. A wonderful book! Reviewer: Michael Chabin
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6

Someone has stolen the props belonging to the residents of a retirement home for magicians, and Bertie Badger, the grandson of one of the illusionists, vows to find them. As he meets the performers, they each tell him a little about their specialty and what's missing. "My top hat, cape, and wand have gone, but there is worse to tell:/My precious magic bunny rabbit's disappeared as well!" Bertie discovers the thief, but it is left to readers to find the lost items hidden in the illustrations. Base's visual mystery books have delighted children for years, but this one has the added feature of a moving panel in the back cover that reveals a secret code. Children must turn dials to proper settings before it can be moved. The clues for setting them appear in the illustrations but are not at all obvious. With a little persistence, however, the target audience should be able to solve the puzzle. After readers crack the code, they can search for the missing items hidden in the art and decipher other messages found in the end matter. The book is not as philosophical as Base's Uno's Garden (2006) or as entertaining as Jungle Drums (2004, both Abrams), but it has the same style of colorful and detailed illustrations. For readers who don't want to decipher the codes, the story and pictures are satisfying enough to stand alone.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT

Kirkus Reviews
Bertie Badger undertakes a magical mystery tour to recover a cache of missing props. In his heyday, Grandpa Badger was a master magician, known as Gadzooks the Great. Now he lives at the Retirement Home for Elderly Magicians, surrounded by old colleagues. Whenever Bertie visits, Grandpa puts on a magnificent show. One day, Bertie arrives to find Grandpa and his fellow residents disconsolate; each has been robbed of a valuable prop (Grandpa's rabbit is missing). Bertie turns sleuth to question all the colorful ex-magicians about their losses. Their stories are as wild as their rooms, rendered in a crisp combination of watercolor, pencil and gouache. The mystery's solution should satisfy readers, who then have the opportunity to go back and find a certain story character hidden in each illustration. Then, Base's piece de resistance: The back inside cover opens like a secret chamber to reveal a secret-code challenge, with dials and symbols and letters and a magic button. Base's rhyming text is undeniably pedestrian, but his tableaux are stylish and packed with witty touches. (Picture book. 5-10)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810972452
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/7/2008
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 174,329
  • Age range: 5 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 12.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Graeme Base is one of the world’s leading creators of picture books. His alphabet book, Animalia, received international acclaim when it was first published in 1986 and has sold more than two million copies. Graeme lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    This is a really fun book.

    This is a clever book with codes to figure out to solve the mystery. Graeme Base's artwork is nothing short of fantastic in its detail and imagination. My 9 year old granddaughter had fun solving this mystery.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2009

    Graeme Base does it again!

    Another fantastic book by Graeme Base. The illustrations are divine and the story kept my children wanting to see what was going to happen next. They poured over the pages looking for clues and have returned to this book again and again looking for the hidden secrets on each page. A great book to read to younger children and older children will love trying to solve the mystery.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)