Bestseller Graeme Base harks back to his classic New York Times bestselling solve-the-mystery story The Eleventh Hour in an all-new book that will “puzzle” and entice young readers.
Enter a magical world in this warm, funny, and enduring story about the special relationship between a grandson and his grandpa—and their love for magic.
Bertie Badger loves to visit the Retirement Home for Elderly Magicians and watch his grandpa perform magic tricks. But one day all the magicians’ props go missing, so Bertie sets off to investigate. Can he solve the mystery in time to save the show? This clever book will engage readers as they are challenged to solve the mystery along with Bertie, discovering where the missing props have gone by using a decoder included with the book that reveals the mystery. Graeme Base, creator of Animalia and many bestselling and beloved books for children, conjures up an inventive, irresistible tale. F&P level: S
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Graeme Base is one of the world’s leading creators of picture books. His alphabet book, Animalia, received international acclaim when it was first published in 1986 and has sold more than two million copies. Graeme lives in Melbourne, Australia.From School Library Journal:
Grade 3–6—Someone has stolen the props belonging to the residents of a retirement home for magicians, and Bertie Badger, the grandson of one of the illusionists, vows to find them. As he meets the performers, they each tell him a little about their specialty and what's missing. "My top hat, cape, and wand have gone, but there is worse to tell:/My precious magic bunny rabbit's disappeared as well!" Bertie discovers the thief, but it is left to readers to find the lost items hidden in the illustrations. Base's visual mystery books have delighted children for years, but this one has the added feature of a moving panel in the back cover that reveals a secret code. Children must turn dials to proper settings before it can be moved. The clues for setting them appear in the illustrations but are not at all obvious. With a little persistence, however, the target audience should be able to solve the puzzle. After readers crack the code, they can search for the missing items hidden in the art and decipher other messages found in the end matter. The book is not as philosophical as Base's Uno's Garden (2006) or as entertaining as Jungle Drums (2004, both Abrams), but it has the same style of colorful and detailed illustrations. For readers who don't want to decipher the codes, the story and pictures are satisfying enough to stand alone.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
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