Magnetic Magic

NSTA Recommends - August 2016

The story is appealing to young children who are “enthralled” with magic. The author has a section “Creative Minds” where she defines magnetism and includes the four experiments using magnets and the map skills activity describing magnetic north described in the story. There is a definite need for well written books with a physical science topic for young readers, especially at the pre–K to third grade level. Magnetic Magic may well be one of these books.
- Ruth Ruud

School Library Journal - September 2016

"With a large, bold font, this book can be used in a science class unit on magnetism or during a classroom read-aloud activity. The illustrations are successful in moving the narrative forward and conveying the meaning of the text."
- Kathia Ibacache, Simi Valley Public Library, CA

Midwest Book Review - December 2016

"Magnetic Magic" is an entertaining physical science story that teaches children ages 4-8 about magnetism. Dena is a girl who loves using magnets to perform tricks for younger children at the pool, which she likes to pretend is magic. But when Enrique comes to town, he questions Dena fooling the younger children with her magnetic magic tricks. He decides to show Dena how it feels to be tricked. He offers her a treasure map, over 100 years old, and challenges her to find the tree on the map where the treasure is. Dena uses all her compass and magnet reading skills to determine the location of the tree and the treasure, but it is not there. Finding the true answer and location of the treasure helps Dena understand the value of honest teaching through magnets or magic tricks. Dena also learns from Enrique that the earth itself is full of surprises, in its own slowly shifting magnetic poles. At the end of "Magnetic Magic," additional sections such as For creative Minds, magnets, map skills, and making magnetic magic projects offer more learning opportunities. Poignant color illustrations underline the excitement and twists of the narrative, while conveying a firm theme of integrity and acceptance of diversity.

Science Books & Films - March 2017

The "magic tricks" performed by the lead character, Dena, involve very simple activities related to the force of magnetism, attraction and repulsion, and polarity. This information would be suitable for young children.

Horn Book Guide - October 2017

Dena's magic tricks actually involve magnets; Enrique thinks "fooling" kids like this is mean. He gives Dena an old treasure map to follow with her compass, but--thanks to the gradual shift in Earth's magnetic field--it leads her astray.

Heck of a Bunch - September 2016

A book that shows how magnetism can be used in magic, Magnetic Magic tells an educational story in a way that is engaging to children. The main character, Dena, shows the smaller children some magic tricks. Enrique shows up and presents Dena with a map, daring her to find the hidden spot. Dena is unable to find it at first, then realizes that the Earth's magnetic field is the reason for that. After she realizes she's been "fooled" by Enrique, Dena decides to start showing the science behind her magic tricks.

Outnumbered 3 to 1 - September 2016

Magnetic Magic written by Terry Catasús Jennings and illustrated by Andrea Gabriel shares with us how Dena likes to perform magic tricks for kids at the pool. In reality it is magnets performing the tricks but she doesn’t tell them that. A boy comes along one day and instantly says she is using magnets and that she should not be fooling the kids like that. He gives her a treasure map and challenges her to find the treasure using a compass. The problem is the treasure is not where it should be. A great book on magnets and teaching a lesson on fooling others.

Goodreads Reviews

This is an interesting book that teaches the basic principles of magnetism. There are some simple activities in the back that the child can do to illustrate what was taught. I think most early level elementary children would enjoy learning some science while delighting in the story.

Tundraco: A Resouce Guide for Rockhounds - October 2016

Magnetic Magic is a multipurpose book that is designed to both entertain and to educated children. In this case the focus of the book is on magnetism, and the story follows Dena as she uses her scientific knowledge about magnets and magnetism to perform magic tricks for the younger kids. In the process of telling Dena's story, the author, Terry Catasús Jennings teaches the reader the basics of magnetism in a way that all elementary school children, from kindergarten on up, will understand. In addition, the reader also learns a little bit about how a compass works, what the magnetic pole is and why it moves, as well as gaining an introduction to navigating using a map and compass. For a picture book that is only 32 pages long, this book contains a lot of information!

Children's Literature Evaluation and Review Interest Group - November 2016

This science book would make a great read aloud in an elementary classroom, as it uses a storyline to explain scientific concepts. Readers can learn about magnets, maps, and compasses, with much more information and instructions for the experiments at the back of the book. The publisher’s page explains that the information was verified by experts in the field, which teachers and librarians will appreciate. The pencil and watercolor illustrations are realistic, portrayed on a large scale on most pages so that the “magic” tricks and plot points are clearly displayed. Children in grades three through five may be able to glean some information for a report from this title, but it is more likely to be used as a successful read aloud to introduce these concepts to large groups of students.

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine - February 2017

We enjoyed the story in this book, which helped us all learn a bit more about magnets. Even mommy didn't know that the earth's magnetic field moves over time. I also appreciated that Dena was taught a lesson in honesty. The full page illustrations are colorful and realistic, and the text font is large, making it easy to read.