Here's a real charmer for the chapter book set. The words are well within the grasp of new readers; the typeface is large; the leading is generous enough to be attractive; and the black-and-white illustrations are fun. But more than that, Petersen's story is filled with great comedy, and it's right on the mark when it comes to sibling relationships. The arrival of a magic show in town provides the background for three loosely connected episodes: in the first, Hal discovers that his older brother, Chuck, isn't quite as smart as he thought; in the second, Hal realizes that he loves his brother, even if Chuck is sometimes a real pain; and in the third, Hal gives Chuck his comeuppance. Petersen has invested his characters with lots of personality, and the magic background is wonderful--we even learn some magic secrets. The book is simply irresistible.