Illusionology: The Secret Science of Magic ($19.99, Candlewick Press, Ages 8 and up), written by Albert Schafer with illustrations by David Wyatt and Levi Pinfold, is extraordinary! This most unusual book, with pop-ups, flaps to flip and envelopes to open, takes readers inside the science of illusion. They learn about the history of illusion and how the eye and mind are tricked. The importance of story telling in magic and the art of misdirection are revealed. There are sections on levitation, the science of disappearing, body manipulation and more. Readers will also learn about Houdini as well as other famous illusionists.

What I love about the book is 1) The book cover, with its lenticular image in the center, is superb; 2) It is a beautiful, ultra high-quality coffee table style book with a mystic, historic look from the era of Houdini; 3) Opening flips and flaps and envelopes is really fun and exciting 4) Readers can learn to do actual tricks; 5) Readers are exposed to the science of magic which really makes them think.

I was particularly fascinated by learning about how the human eye can be tricked and how our perspective influences what we see. Naturally I was also intrigued by the details about Houdini’s most famous tricks.

This wonderful book is to be treasured, read and studied for many hours and would make a special holiday gift for any child interested in magic.

Reviewed today by Debbie Glade.

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