A mother and her two kids are walking past a magician when he offers them some of his magic items for free. With a stopwatch, they’ll be able to stop time. With a camera, they’ll be able to put themselves into a picture. And with his carpet, they’ll be able to fly.
Why doesn’t stuff like this ever happen to me?
Unfortunately, the mother I describe is not this hopeful blogger. She is the mother of two of the three main characters in Magic in the City, by Heather Dyer. Rachel Grubb and her sons, Jake and Simon, are traveling from their home in Canada to live with her sister in England when they meet the magician.The night they arrive at their Aunt Helen’s house, Jake and Simon discover that the magician was telling the truth about the magic carpet. They fly off over London, seeing the sights they had read about in their tourist guidebook.
Their cousin Hannah joins them the next day as they test the stopwatch. Younger brother Simon wants to see the Queen, but Hannah soon suspects that Jake has something else in mind. Their day is filled with adventure, fun, and surprises!
Magic in the City is an enjoyable and quick read. The action moves swiftly and draws young readers in, as they wait to see what will happen next to Jake, Hannah, and Simon.
If I had one wish with this book, it would be that Jake, Hannah, and Simon had spent just a little more time in each of their adventures. The picture Ms. Dyer drew of each place was so vivid, and the predicament that the kids were in was so entertaining, that I would have loved to experience each place for just a bit longer. But, I suppose this is like many a book that I’ve read and loved—Ms. Dyer successfully left me wanting more!
Heather Dyer is the author of five children’s novels and a picture book. She explains on her website that, like Magic in the City, “all of [her] books feature ordinary children to whom something magical happens.” These include a story about a girl whose bedroom can fly her to magical adventures, a story about twins who meet a girl with feathery wings, and a story about a boy who finds a mermaid with stringy hair and a chipped front tooth!
Although I received an electronic advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review, Alex read the first chapter and loved it so much that he wanted to do a book report on it for school. We pre-ordered the book so that it would arrive the day it was released and then Alex could work from a paper copy over the next two months as he prepared his report. If you follow this blog (or even check it out once in a while), you know that we read a lot of books in our house, so Alex’s reaction was high praise, indeed!
Have you read any great books lately?