Sunday 10 October 2021

Trick Number Two

Trick Number Two by Nick Bland Illustrated Stephen Michael King (Scholastic Australia), ISBN  9781760971076 RRP $17.99

Reviewed by Claire Stuckey

Three little wizards have no tricks, so they plead with the wise old wizard to help them. Wizard Blue, Yellow and Red all receive a piece of string.  They are instructed to plant and care for each one then wait until spring; this will become their trick number one.

Impatient Wizard Blue is the first to rip out the string using it as a lace for his shoes. Wizard Yellow follows in autumn; when the wind blows, she decides the string will be great for her kite. While these two wizards play, little Wizard Red, a tiny mouse, cares for his string and waits patiently.  When spring arrives, the Wise Old Wizard returns and as the string breaks through the soil, something magical happens. Trick number one is revealed, a red balloon. Then trick number one becomes number two for Wizard Red.

This is a great read-aloud story with a rhyming narrative and additional sprinklings of alliteration and onomatopoeia. The little wizards are brought to life with expressions and movement in sparse but dynamic illustrations. With a textless final page, trick number two is revealed graphically. The endpapers reflect the story’s development. Families and groups will love this story. This is a modern twist on a traditional fable that praise and reward those who wait. Highly recommend for preschoolers aged 3-6 years.

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