Dena performs magic tricks for the little ones at the pool, but it's really magnetism. When Enrique calls her out on it, she doesn't want to confess. It's too much fun to fool the little ones. But Enrique has a challenge. A treasure map from 1905. Now it's Dena who gets fooled. The earth's magnetic pole has moved since 1905 and none of what Dena knows is helpful in finding the treasure.
K-Gr 3—Big kid Dena knows how to make magnetism look like magic, especially in front of little ones, who are awed by her mysterious tricks. She understands magnets can attract and repel each other. Enrique, who also knows about magnetism, challenges Dena to reveal the "secrets" of her "magic" to the kids. Jennings uses a fictional narrative to teach primary grade children about magnetism. Readers will follow Dena as she experiments with magnets and goes on a treasure quest using her compass. With a large, bold font, this book can be used in a science class unit on magnetism or during a classroom read-aloud activity. The illustrations are successful in moving the narrative forward and conveying the meaning of the text. However, the illustrations, though colorful, lack the look and style of contemporary children's literature—a potentially unappealing element for curious children. The book contains activities and further information. VERDICT An additional purchase on magnetism for elementary school libraries.—Kathia Ibacache, Simi Valley Public Library, CA Copyright 2016 Reed Business Information.
Reviewed by Anna Dogole October 17, 2016
Wow! Magnetic Magic is a fantastically entertaining and edify book that will delight readers of all ages.
Magnetic Magic is a multipurpose book that is designed to both entertain and to educated children. In this case the focus of the book is on magnetism, and the story follows Dena as she uses her scientific knowledge about magnets and magnetism to perform magic tricks for the younger kids. In the process of telling Dena's story, the author, Terry Catasús Jennings teaches the reader the basics of magnetism in a way that all elementary school children, from kindergarten on up, will understand. In addition, the reader also learns a little bit about how a compass works, what the magnetic pole is and why it moves, as well as gaining an introduction to navigating using a map and compass. For a picture book that is only 32 pages long, this book contains a lot of information!
All this information is presented in the guise of a lively story in which Dena also learns a lesson about the importance of truthfulness! Over the course of the story Dena performs four different magic tricks that demonstrate various properties of magnetism and instructions on how to do these 'tricks' yourself are provided at the end of the book. In addition to directions on how to perform these tricks, the text also includes two educational resources, one on magnets and the other on map skills. As well, the publisher also offers additional resources such as quizzes and teaching activities that aligned with the text. These resources are located online at http://arbordalepublishing.com. (The links for these resources are located toward the bottom of the homepage.)
The basic text of Magnetic Magic is further enhanced by the inclusion of charming, colorful illustrations that bring the story to life created by Andrea Gabriel. The story features a multiracial/ethnic mix of boys and girls, as do the illustrations, helping to make this story inclusive for readers from every segment of society. Best of all, all the scientific information in this book has been checked for accuracy, and the book is available in a variety of formats as well as in both English and Spanish editions.
The Lexile Level for this book is AD 560L. The AD means that this book is designed for 'Adult Directed' reading, i.e., it is a picture book designed to be read to a child. However, strong readers will enjoy reading this book on their own. They just might need help on occasion deciphering unfamiliar words and terms. Best of all, adults will enjoy the book as a well, and they might not only learn a thing or two about magnetism, but also how to perform some really neat magic tricks!