Magic by the Bookby Nina Bernstein
Neither Anne nor Emily remembered choosing the book at the library, but when as they read it, the boundary between their world and the one described in the book disappears. Suddenly they are in Sherwood Forest, where they join Robin Hood's band. The further adventures that await Anne, Emily, and their brother, Will, are the kind they had always dreamed about. They
Neither Anne nor Emily remembered choosing the book at the library, but when as they read it, the boundary between their world and the one described in the book disappears. Suddenly they are in Sherwood Forest, where they join Robin Hood's band. The further adventures that await Anne, Emily, and their brother, Will, are the kind they had always dreamed about. They had yearned for magic as strong as the spell cast by the stories they loved best. But then an uninvited guest turns up at their parents' garden party. The sinister man snatches the book with the intention of using its powers for evil, and the siblings find themselves engaged in a battle to regain possession of the book.
Richly detailed black-and-white drawings enliven this intriguing literary fantasy, which pays homage to some of the heroes of the author's childhood, among them E. Nesbit, Edward Eager, and Leo Tolstoy.
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Magic by the Book
By Bernstein, Nina
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)Copyright © 2005 Bernstein, Nina
All right reserved.
From Magic by the Book:
By the time they caught sight of the book, both glancing down to the basket in the grass at the same moment, they knew their mother's voice would soon be echoing out over the hollyhocks from the first lighted window, calling them in to set the table for supper. Strangely excited, they plucked the book from the basket. Sitting side by side now at the edge of the canvas hammock, they opened it to the first paste and began to read.
"Dusk, the long blue dusk of summer, was already falling on the garden by the time they discovered the book," they read. " It was a small, shabby volume lying at the bottom of the wicker basket..."
There on the yellowed page were their names, their ages, their hammock, and their copper beech tree.
"Anne, it's magic, it just has to be magic," Emily whispered, looking into her sister's face. Pale under her freckles in the fading light, Anne hushed her and turned the page.
"As they sat reading, the tall pines at the bottom of the garden filled with mist. White and thick, it swirled up the slope to meet them, obscuring arbor, apple tree, azaleas, until only the tops of the trees were visible, knit by the fog into a forest. And from this forest suddenly there came the sound of approachinghoofbeats."
Even as they read the words, Anne and Emily heard the sound, muffled at first, but unmistakable and coming closer: a horse's hooves on the forest floor. Starting up with a cry, Emily was enveloped in the mist she had just read about, and clutched for her older sister's hand. The book tumbled to the ground, and the two girls found themselves alone in a fog-shrouded forest clearing , braced for the galloping horse and rider to burst upon them.
Excerpted from Magic by the Book by Bernstein, Nina Copyright © 2005 by Bernstein, Nina. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
Nina Bernstein is a staff reporter for The New York Times. Her book The Lost Children of Wilder was a National Book Award finalist. This is her first children's book. She lives in New York City.
Boris Kulikov illustrated Morris the Artist by Lore Segal. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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