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*The Secret World of Magic* by Rosalind Kerven, illustrated by Wayne Anderson- young readers fantasy book review
 



The Secret World of Magic
by Rosalind Kerven, illustrated by Wayne Anderson
Ages 5-10 47 pages Frances Lincoln November 2006 Hardcover    

Magic is worldwide and diverse. The Genies of the Arabian Desert have magical powers that differ from the Fairies of Britain and Ireland. Magic spells can do everything from inducing sleep to rendering instant invisibility. From Africa to China, there are people who use their magic to change forms. Women can transform into trees, seals, or spiders. Swallowing magical pearls will turn others into Dragon Kings and Princesses. Whole magic worlds exist in different parts of the world as well. Dragon Realms can be found in China, Japan and Korea, and Tir Na Níog is said to be off the coast of Ireland.

Worldwide, magic often finds itself in stories, too. Seven one-page stories are included in this book, supplementing all the magical information contained inside. Rosalind Kerven opens up the world of magic even further for children with sections on lucky charms and wishes. Some pages come with clever advice: included are five points to keep in mind when making wishes, and three ways to break a shape-changing spell.

Using pencil, colored crayons, watercolors and inks, Wayne Anderson makes this book even more enjoyable to read. Each of the seven stories is framed in a themed border relating to the story. The Turtle and the Dragon has an underwater motif, and The Sausage Wish is framed with a sausage design. A full-page or near full-page illustration accompanies each story as well. My favorite can be found in the story "Raining Jewels." Colorful illustrations exemplify what has just been read, and no illustrations will scare children. The witches, black cats, and dragons are all innocent enough looking not to cause nightmares. My favorite illustrations are of Avalon - I want to be there! - and of the black cat that appears on almost every page. He might be sitting by the magic cauldron, or holding a wand in his tail, or sitting in that beautiful picture of Avalon.

Wayne Anderson is an expert with wizards and dragons. His award-winning illustrations can be seen in Ratsmagic and Gnomes and Gardens. Author Rosalind Kervenís work has been recommended by the American Library Association and become bestsellers. With over fifty books written for children, Rosalind Kerven embraces magic once again and presents it for young readers in such a way that will answer their questions and expand their imagination. Most importantly, this book leaves us with ways to think about and look for magic in our own lives.



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