The 9 Tasks of Mistry: An Adventure in the World of Illusion

Chris McEwan, Author Little Brown and Company $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-316-55523-4
Whispar, a young magician, sets out to claim the Cloak of Illusion from Mistry, the retiring ruler of the World of Illusion, by solving a series of colorful conundrums. The reader plays along with Whispar--tries to, at least--by looking for answers in the madcap, elaborately overcrowded pictures of scenes from Mistry's enchanted, M.C. Escher-esque kingdom. Counting the well-hidden cats in Task 2 is challenging, yet easy enough for the target audience to accomplish, but finding a man ""in a hat with a leaf"" in a riot of minuscule, multicolor shapes, faces, fruits, animals, clowns and many, many hats will test even the most seasoned Waldo sleuth. McEwan (The Little Penguin) puts his own playful spin on many standard optical illusions--the facing profiles/vase; like-sized objects that seem to grow toward a vanishing-point background--and comes up with some of his own in an amusing puzzle portrait gallery. Most solutions (listed in reverse print on the last page) call for painstaking scrutiny, and younger readers may need a hand in interpreting the rhyming riddles. This book requires a good deal of patience--another way of saying that it will keep attentive puzzlers busy for hours. Ages 8-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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