I’m delighted to be kicking off THE GREAT FOX ILLUSION blog tour with this post for Books For Topics.
There is a lot of magic in children’s books. The shelves are filled with protagonists with special powers, and characters who discover they are part of a hidden world filled with the supernatural. The Great Fox Illusion isn’t like that. There are no special powers in this book. No shortcuts to success. Flick is a girl with a prosthetic leg who cannot wave a wand to solve her problems. The Great Fox Illusion is about a different kind of magic.
In this story, Flick and Charlie have to enter a house that used to belong to the world-famous illusionist The Great Fox, and he’s left behind some very challenging puzzles for them to solve. They need to work out the method behind a series of magic tricks. All the answers are right in front of them, but the whole point of a magic trick is to hide the secret of how it works. It wouldn’t be much of a trick if it was obvious how it was done, would it? So, Flick and Charlie are faced with what appear to be impossible challenges. Where do you start in working out how a trick is put together? There may be many elements to the performance, each hiding a different secret. As the story progresses, we watch them break the puzzles down, isolate the details they understand and then work from what they know to try and figure out what they don’t. They do not rely on casting a spell or using their powers as the ‘chosen ones’. They learn how to solve problems for themselves. More than that, they acquire skills in overcoming difficulties that seem impossible to surmount – as problems so often do. They gain an understanding that will help them cope with all sorts of everyday challenges. That method – break it down, isolate the details you understand and then work from what you know to try and figure out what you don’t – works everywhere. I think it’s the kind of magic that we all need.