Anton Can Do Magic

Ole K%C3%B6nnecke. Gecko Press USA (Lerner, dist.), $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-8774-6737-0
Anton looks a bit like Charlie Brown, although he's younger and more cheerful, and he wears a big, impressive turban with the feather in front, the kind that real magicians wear. Könnecke, in his English-language debut, records Anton's efforts to do magic with his prized hat, letting readers in on the joke that the hat doesn't actually give him any magic powers, even though Anton thinks it does. He can't make a tree disappear ("That's funny—the tree is still there. That tree is probably too big"), so he tries again with a small bird perching on a high branch. "Anton does some magic" (Anton waves his hands around professionally, the hat falls over his eyes as he does, and the bird flies away). "The bird is gone. Anton can do magic!" For his next trick, Anton brings his new talent to his friends Luke, who's skeptical, and Greta, who's lost her bird. Endearingly, Könnecke allows Anton to be the hero even after readers see that it's all coincidence, a sweet-tempered conclusion that celebrates kids' belief in their own abilities. Ages 3–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/25/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
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