The Secret World of Magic
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The Secret World of Magic

by Rosalind Kerven, Wayne Anderson
     
 

“In fairy tales, when three brothers or sisters set out on a quest, usually only the youngest one is brave and clever enough to finish it.” This is one of the insights in this charming picture book that introduces young readers to magic and enchantment. Written by renowned folklorist Rosalind Kerven, the book draws on traditional folk tales from Ireland

Overview

“In fairy tales, when three brothers or sisters set out on a quest, usually only the youngest one is brave and clever enough to finish it.” This is one of the insights in this charming picture book that introduces young readers to magic and enchantment. Written by renowned folklorist Rosalind Kerven, the book draws on traditional folk tales from Ireland, Africa, China, the Middle East, Native America, and other regions. It’s all here in shimmering illustrations by Wayne Anderson: magic-makers; shape-shifters; important spells, wishes, and charms; magical travel; secret worlds; bewitchery; and more.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
In her exploration of the world of magic, Kerven combines notes on such topics as makers of magic, magic children, spells, lucky charms and secret worlds. Periodically, she inserts brief folk tales related to magic, from India, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Japan, and Native Americans. Ways to cast and break spells are included, along with care in wish-making, means of enchanted travel, and where to look for magic, all in a light-hearted fashion. The entries are brief but provocative. Anderson's illustrations, drawn with pencil, colored crayons, watercolors, and inks, add to the provocation. He dotes on detail and enjoys producing weird creatures, such as snake-headed dragons, long-nosed witches, and dancing mice with curving tails. Sometimes, whole pages are fully designed and even framed, but more often, vignettes provide useful information along with imaginative characters and locations. A black cat seems to lead us through the pages, and its pawprints appear on the endpapers. There are added notes on the stories and sources. Kerven ends with a challenging question, "Do you believe in magic?"
Kirkus Reviews
Kerven plays to believers in this distillation of magical lore from cultures worldwide. Urging young readers to disregard the skepticism of grown-ups, she surveys various sorts of magic workers, magical creatures, charms, kinds of spells and magical realms. She also sketchily retells seven vaguely sourced tales of spells and transformations and offers helpful advice on such topics as making wishes or breaking spells laid on others: "Kiss the animal or thing that your friend has turned into." Anderson goes for humor and mystery in his small, elaborately modeled illustrations, throwing a lurid yellow-greenish light over portraits of witches and wizards with pointy hats, stunned-looking victims, rainbows ending in pots of gold and a black cat posing in various settings. Eurocentric slant aside (in her cameo, the Native-American Spider Woman has blond hair and European features), this joins the likes of Monika Beisner's Secret Spells and Curious Charms (1985) as prime browsing material for young dreamers. (bibliography) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781845074814
Publisher:
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Publication date:
11/28/2006
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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