By GLENN TOLLE
Long before spook shows haunted movie theaters, magic and the macabre have been inextricably linked. Take a look at any “vintage” magic poster and you’ll see all manner of monsters, spooks and sprites cavorting with the magician. I have always been fascinated by magic and monsters and it looks like I wasn’t the only one. SPOOKY TRICKS by Rose Wyler and Gerald Ames, illustrated by Talivaldis Stubis and published by SCHOLASTIC in 1968, is the perfect picture book for that kid who wants to scare their friends with frightfully fun magic tricks.
In my many online searches for spooky children’s books this one popped up regularly. It stayed on my wish list for years until recently when I happened upon a battered, but obviously beloved, copy at a local library sale.
One of the things that makes SPOOKY TRICKS so unique and endearing is the little ghost Willie who plays a crucial part in the tricks of his chapter. Other chapters such as “How to Be a Spooky” and “Haunted House,” are fairly self-explanatory and just as fun.
My favorite spooky tricks include an optical illusion titled “Ghost on the Wall” and a clever gag titled “Your Extra Finger.” I won’t tell you how they are done, though, you’ll have to get the book and find out.
I bought my well-loved soft cover edition of SPOOKY TRICKS for $1 (as you can see from the sticker on the cover). The hardcover edition can be bought on AMAZON for $4, plus $3.99 shipping, in “Good” condition.
I highly recommend this book for the aspiring kid conjurer in your crypt.