40 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 1-894379-33-0
DDC j133.4'3





Illustrations by Joe Weissmann
Reviewed by Sandy Campbell

Sandy Campbell is a reference librarian in the Science and Technology Library at the University of Alberta.


Sylvia Funston, former editor of Owl and Chickadee magazines, asks,
“Do you believe in magic? Maybe this book can help you find out.”
The volume looks at magical mysteries, the magical arts, and magic
today. The text consists of mainly short paragraphs, often with
accompanying illustrations describing something that might be considered
“magical.” For example, along with voodoo and crystal balls, the
“magical” experience of thinking that the moon is following you also
rates a paragraph. Other items, for which we have rational explanations,
but that might be considered “magical,” are vaccinations, 3–D
printers, weather forecasting, stage magic, and movie special effects.

Occasionally there are puzzles or questions in “blue bubbles,” with
answers at the end of the book. There is also a two-page maze puzzle and
a simple but nicely presented two-page explanation of runes and how to
read them. The text is readable at the elementary level. Much of it is
chatty and irreverent and addressed directly to the reader. For example,
in the instructions for making rune stones, the author says,
“Magicians once used blood for the symbols, but magic marker will

Overall, this book feels a bit disjointed, more like a collection of
discrete magazine articles than a coherent book. The combination of
traditional magic and that which looks like magic to the untutored eye
(often achieved through the use of new technologies) seems forced.
However, each individual article is entertaining, so children will
probably enjoy this book. Recommended.


Funston, Sylvia., “Magic,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 28, 2024,