The Magic of Giving

Overview

When Marc decides to enter the school talent contest, he is at first discouraged because, unlike all the other kids, he can't come up with a talent. But during a trip to the school library, he picks out a book about Harry Houdini and decides that his talent will be magic. He practices all week for the big contest, and when he wins the prize, he buys a Thanksgiving feast for his friend, whose father recently lost his job. This uplifting picture book for young readers encourages kids to develop their abilities and ...

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Overview

When Marc decides to enter the school talent contest, he is at first discouraged because, unlike all the other kids, he can't come up with a talent. But during a trip to the school library, he picks out a book about Harry Houdini and decides that his talent will be magic. He practices all week for the big contest, and when he wins the prize, he buys a Thanksgiving feast for his friend, whose father recently lost his job. This uplifting picture book for young readers encourages kids to develop their abilities and use their talents to help not only themselves but others.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kristy Kilfoyle
Dunston's autobiographical tale begins with his desire to demonstrate what he's made of in his elementary school talent show. Little Marc begins his search for talent in a great place—the library! There he discovers a poster about magic and leaves with a book about Houdini in hand. Over the next two weeks, Marc practices every day and gets help and encouragement from his family. When the day of the talent show arrives, the other students fail to meet their marks, while Marc, who has visualized his routine and success, takes home the big prize. In an altruistic move, Marc uses the money to buy a Thanksgiving feast for his neighbor, Roxanna, and her family. An agenda-driven story such as this one lacks the support of character development and solid expressive illustrations. Marc's connection to his neighbor Roxanna is flimsy at best, with their only interaction an image within a speech bubble before the feast. Cantrell's illustrations frequently present Marc from the back or the side, thus the reader isn't able to empathize with Marc or read the emotions on his face. The overall message is one kids should take to heart—practice makes perfect and find your passion. This message is perhaps better conveyed in titles like Eileen Spinelli's Someday (2007) or Edel Rodriguez's Sergio Saves the Game (2009). Reviewer: Kristy Kilfoyle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589808058
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/2/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,487,095
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Dunston is the host and executive producer of The Magic Marc Show, a program combining magic and education for kids to create "magication." He has performed magic shows for such celebrities as Bill Cosby and Jack Hanna. He lives in Savannah, Georgia.

Katie Cantrell is a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design working toward her B.F.A. in illustration. She has provided artwork for Strathmore Artist Papers, Threadless, and the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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