Anton Can Do Magic by Ole Konnecke
Anton has a real magic hat that he wears to do real magic. He tries to make a tree disappear, but it doesn’t work. So he decides that a tree is too big for the magic to work on it. He tries to make the bird in the tree disappear. His hat falls forward over his eyes, and when he lifts it again the bird is gone! He believes he has made it disappear, but the reader knows that it flew away instead. Anton tells Luke that he can make things disappear, but Luke does not believe him. So Anton does magic to make Luke disappear. The hat falls forward, Luke walks away, and Anton thinks he has done magic again. But this time he regrets making Luke disappear. He tries and tries to bring him back, but instead the bird reappears. In the end though, Anton just might prove he is magical after all.
Originally from Germany, this picture book does have a feel of a European tale. There is a great simplicity to the story and the illustrations. Being in on the joke of what is really happening when Anton thinks he is doing magic, makes this book very enjoyable. The story is told in a straight-forward way, the words never revealing the truth that the illustrations are showing. The illustrations too are simple and they are responsible for conveying the reality of the magic. Done in a limited palette of yellows and oranges, the illustrations have a 60s vibe to them.
A funny, playful picture book that will get audiences giggling and is a great pick for a magical story time. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from copy received from Gecko Press.