Uncle Gus's Magic Box

Overview

A boy receives a strange inheritance, with outrageously funny results.

When a young boy receives a magician's box from his long-lost uncle, he can't believe his luck. What kid wouldn't want to be a magician?

Dad grabs his tools to open the box, but the boy finds the key. Inside is everything a conjuror needs: top hat, wand, and props galore. Yet nothing seems to work. Just when enchantment appears out of ...

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Overview

A boy receives a strange inheritance, with outrageously funny results.

When a young boy receives a magician's box from his long-lost uncle, he can't believe his luck. What kid wouldn't want to be a magician?

Dad grabs his tools to open the box, but the boy finds the key. Inside is everything a conjuror needs: top hat, wand, and props galore. Yet nothing seems to work. Just when enchantment appears out of reach, the boy discovers instructions... for sawing a person in half.

As Spoof, the dog, looks on, the junior magician convinces his father to climb into the box. But a critical error leads to a divided Dad. "Funnily, it doesn't hurt at all," he reports. Nevertheless, a papa in two just won't do. The boy ties him together with bandages, rechecks the instructions, and even calls an ambulance.

But magic can only be fixed by magic, and it is Spoof who sniffs out the solution: Use the magician's saw, not Dad's old rusty one. Soon father is whole again, and it's celebratory cookies all around. But hold it — now Dad wants a turn as magician. It's only fair to split the fun...

This wildly funny, easy-to-read story jumps off the page, accented by the highly amusing black and white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
When a little boy (who remains nameless throughout the story) receives a letter informing him that his long-lost uncle is dead and left him something, he is very surprised. But neither the boy nor his dad nor their dog Spoof can imagine what it will be. When a magic box arrives complete with instructions on how to saw an orphan girl in half, the boy can hardly wait to try it out. He instantly talks his dad into getting in the box and saws him in half. Nevertheless, getting dad back together proves harder than expected. Ted van Lieshout does an amazing job of creating very real magic in a very short book. Philip Hopman's whimsical black-and-white illustrations are a perfect match for this wonderfully wacky story. 2005, Annick Press, Ages 7 up.
—Amie Rose Rotruck
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550379358
  • Publisher: Annick Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/3/2005
  • Pages: 60
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Ten van Lieshout has received numerous awards for his writing in The Netherlands, where he lives.

Philip Hopman is an award-winning artist who has illustrated over 100 books.

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Read an Excerpt

Spoof ran to the door.
He wagged his tail.
He barked.
He was happy because Dad was home.
Dad walked in.
He was hungry. "Give me three cookies,"
he said. "Or I'll die."
I gave him one.

"Three is too many," I said.
I ate the second cookie.
Spoof got half of the third one and
I ate the rest of it.

Dad sat on the couch.
He looked through the mail.
"There's a letter for you," he said.

"For me?" I asked, surprised.
I never get any mail,
except on my birthday.
But it wasn't my birthday.

I took the letter.
It had my name on it.
I opened it quickly. It said:

Your long-lost uncle is dead.

"My long-lost uncle is dead," I told Dad.

"Your long-lost uncle?
That must be Uncle Gus.
You haven't got any other long-lost uncles."

"I don't know Uncle Gus," I said.

"Uncle Gus only saw you once,
said Dad. "You were still in your crib.
Then he moved to Japan."

"Because of me?" I asked.

"Probably," laughed Dad.
"What does the letter say?"

I read it out:

"Sadly, your long-lost uncle has died. But the good news is that he left you something.

"It's on its way, by mail."

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