The Vanishing Coin

EGAN, Kate & . illus. by Eric Wight. 160p. (The Magic Shop). Feiwel & Friends. 2014. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781250029140; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781250040435.
Gr 3–5—Deep down, fourth grader Mike Weiss is a good kid. It's not his fault that he has an aversion to sitting still; that's just the way he's wired. As the school year commences, Mike is determined to get a fresh start, but his old habits keep tripping him up. It seems like nothing can help, until he discovers The White Rabbit, a magic shop with a mysterious proprietor. Mike finds that he can actually sit still and focus when he's learning about magic—now he just needs to figure out how to apply his newfound skills to the classroom. Soon, a real bit of magic surfaces: a pocketful of coins appear out of thin air. Could it be the work of the mysterious proprietor? Readers don't find out in this book, but subsequent volumes in "The Magic Shop" series will hopefully reveal the answer. The writing is serviceable, but the book should have fairly wide appeal. Many children are interested in magic, and this title includes instructions for performing the various tricks and sleights of hand. This book will also strike a chord with kids who have trouble sitting still in school. Mike shows them that fidgety kids aren't bad and that they have the potential to succeed. Black-and-white cartoon illustrations with a vintage flair appear throughout, lending visual interest. This series-starter is sufficiently niche-filling to make it a good choice for most collections.—Amy Holland, Irondequoit Public Library, NY
[=With]In Coin, nine-year-old Mike, who "just [can't] sit still," discovers a passion for magic and some new-found confidence. In Arm, Mike's attempts to prove he's responsible enough to visit the local magic shop by himself go awry. This new series offers less-confident readers a sympathetic, likable protagonist with good intentions. Step-by-step instructions for several tricks and black-and-white cartoon illustrations support the accessible texts. Review covers these Magic Shop titles: The Incredible Twisting Arm and The Vanishing Coin.

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