Books on magic for kids can empower, enlighten and inspire readers to try fun new activities and to dabble in the performing arts. Almost all kids love magic because it invites such a sense of wonder and seems to straddle an imaginary line dividing the real world from places of fantasy. With magic books, kids can toe that line themselves and temporarily step into the exciting role of magician.
Books on Magic for Kids
There are several types of magic books for kids. The most common type is instructive and shows kids step-by-step directions for doing simple coin tricks, card tricks or other basic pieces of magic. Other magic books chronicle the lives of famous magicians or explain how more complicated tricks are done. Kids who are seriously interested in magic may want to read both, but in general, how-to books have the greatest appeal.
In addition to ordering books on magic for kids or picking them up at a local bookstore, you can find many titles at libraries. Most kids' magic books will be clumped together in the same juvenile nonfiction section, so ask a librarian where you might find such titles to make your selection easier.
The Klutz Book of Magic
The Klutz Book of Magic comes to kids from Klutz Press, a company with scads of fun do-it-yourself books on many different topics and activities. Its magic book is a standout both for the humor and the variety of tricks, as the collection branches out well beyond coin palming and sleight-of-hand maneuvers. The book comes complete with a silk scarf, small chrome ring, sturdy nylon rope, and small sheet of latex to do all the tricks explained inside. Kids who enjoy the Klutz book might also like further related titles from the company, namely Coin Magic and Card Trickery.
Sid Fleischman's book Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini is an addition to an already somewhat towering pile of Houdini biographies for children, but its appealing design and friendly narrative style make it especially valuable. Fleischman didn't explain any of Houdini's tricks, but since he used to work as a vaudeville magician himself, he's able to identify the less impressive maneuvers and point them out to readers of the book (as well as trumpet the most amazing productions, when appropriate). Since he was acquainted with Houdini's wife, Bess, during his lifetime, Fleischman was also able to put forth some private photos of Houdini from his personal collection. Any kids who are seriously enthralled with magic and interested in learning more about its greats will enjoy this clever biography.
Kids' Magic Secrets
This book, subtitled Simple Magic Tricks and Why They Work, includes fun illustrations and clear explanations that accompany each trick. Most tricks use household objects that are easy to find, and the tricks' principles can be explained with scientific or mathematical concepts, so the book is an especially good pick for kids who tend to think logically and have a demonstrated interested in science.
Complete Course in Magic
Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic isn't designed for young children, but middle-grade readers, young adults, and kids with advanced comprehension skills will enjoy the challenge that the book provides and its detailed explanations of how to do an impressive variety of tricks. Be aware that the book is quite a tome; it spans more than 500 pages and covers simple card tricks as well as levitation, so it's useful for aspiring magicians of all levels.
Magic from A to Z
For a crash course in magic that's geared to young readers, try Roosevelt Rat's Learn Magic From A to Z. The book offers star tips for kids who want to perform the magic tricks they learn, and the little rat who narrates is engaging and funny. Presentation advice is interspersed with trick explanations, and the length of the book isn't overwhelming. It covers 26 tricks, which is just the right amount for a young magician who wants to stage a neighborhood or family show.