Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Magic Secrets

I previously wrote about my childhood love of magic and magicians, my desire to learn its secrets and how Scholastic Books fed into that desire with doses of disappointment.  "Magic Secrets" was another book I bought as a child in the hope that maybe, just maybe, this one would finally come through.  It didn't.

The book is filled with whimsical drawings by Talivaldis Stubis (if you read Scholastic Books as a child, you will recognize his art) who also did design for the movie posters of "A Clockwork Orange", "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "The Sting", "The Excorcist" and "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" among others.

The table of contents sounds promising. Let's dive in!

This was the first hint this book wasn't going to work out for me.  First of all, where am I going to find a top hat? Secondly, where am I going to find a rabbit?

Works great if you don't mind ingesting a little fish water.

How many hours did I spend in school amusing myself with the "rubber pencil" trick?  I'll give you a hint: a lot.

Scholastic prepares you for a life of crime by showing you how to scam your local grocer.

I tried this trick. It didn't work.

This is probably the best trick in the book. I remember going to see a magic show at our elementary school and the magician used this trick.  I remember feeling pretty cocky knowing how he did it.

And no one will notice the pencil hitting the ground when you stand up.

This never fools anyone. 

This is another one of those "sneaking science into magic" tricks. I never liked those.

Hey. No peaking.

This trick seemed too involved to even try.  Okay, maybe I was just lazy.

On the other hand, sticking a penny to your forehead? Easy peasy.

I never had enough friends to try this trick (Cue sad music).

Again, who has top hats laying around? And there was no way my mom was going to let me waste milk.

My friend and I planned a magic show at his house in 4th grade.  We put together some tricks and a program.  We canvassed his neighborhood, knocking on doors and leaving flyers.  We returned to his house and set the show up in his basement and waited.  Nobody came.  (Cue more sad music).


  1. i totally remember this book. i STILL amuse myself with the Rubber Pencil, and the Genie in the Bottle trick absolutely worked for me.

  2. Looks like a fun book. The milk trick probably made quite the mess, many times. As for your old Magic Show, I am very sorry attendance was nil. :(

  3. @FrankO: I may have to try that trick again.
    @Joe: I wasn't too disappointed no one showed up. I was getting stage fright as show time approached.

  4. Man, I just love the art in this book! I never realized the artist Stubis also designed movie posters. So cool.

  5. We had spooky tricks by the same people. I love that book.

  6. @LadyM: I have Spooky Tricks as well. Another I bought from Scholastic when I was in elementary school. I couldn't get enough of magic books.


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