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Ronin
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I hope you all might indulge me a little....

I was recently reminiscing about some of those really fun magic books I used to read when I was a child. I'm talking about books written for kids. I especially loved Joseph Leeming's "Fun with Magic" and the Bill Severn books (particularly "Magic and Magicians", "Magic Shows You Can Do" and "Bill Severn's Magic Workshop"). I also fondly recall a book titled "Practical Lessons in Magic", and another titled "So You Want to Be a Magician", both by authors I cannot remember. A ten year old could put together a pretty *** good act from these books.

I haven't seen anything like them in public libraries in years (decades, really). I'm curious if any of you recall these, or what you read, or maybe if anyone collects these books.

Thanks for listening. Gosh, it makes me feel good just thinking about those books.
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Clay Shevlin
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How 'bout Merlini's HOW TO ENTERTAIN CHILDREN WITH MAGIC YOU CAN DO...
Jimmy Joza
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Hey, Clay, I still have a copy of Merlini's book somewhere here in the house. Such books certainly are nostalgic.

Jimmy
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landmark
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I remember the Leeming books--Fun with Magic and More Fun with Magic. Also, The Real Book of Magic, which I think Leeming also wrote. Who was that guy anyway?

793.8 was the first place I went to in the library. Nothing there now in my local library for kids or adults.

Sad.

Jack Shalom
Julie
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Peter Warlock's Book of Magic, Will Dexter's Everybody's Book of Magic, Bruce Elliot's Classic Secrets of Magic-The Best in Magic-Professional Magic Made Easy,
all the Blackstone(Sr) books/thanks to Walter Gibson; and, of course,Robert Parrish's For Magicians Only(the Magician's Handbook) + add to these the famous $3 series of booklets from Ireland's (now Magic Inc.) and you have a lifetime of enjoyment! Smile
danelwood
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I forget the name of the author, but the first one I had was
"spooky magic".

Dan
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Cranial Fermentator
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Dan,

The book that started my life long interest in magic was "Spooky Tricks" by Rose Wyler & Gerald Ames. Do you think this might be the one you were thinking of?
danelwood
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Mr. or Mrs. Fermentor, or can I just call you Cranial?

You inspired me to dig into the far recesses of my collection and find that book.

Mine is "Spooky Magic" 1955 by Larry Kettelkamp, Illustrated by William Meyerriecks. My copy is the 14th printing from 1973.

I think I know the "Spooky Tricks" one too though, which was also one of the earliest for me. If I remember correctly it had the bloody finger (or mummy's finger?) and maybe the hole through the hand? Is that the one?

Funny thing about my "Spooky Magic" book, the second trick in it is "the Spirit Hand", the foundation principle for the "brand new" vanish being marketed on the web.

Just this afternoon, my wife picked up "The Golden Book of Magic, Amazing tricks for Young Magicians" by the Great Merlini (Clayton Rawson) 1964 at a used book store. I'd say it's one of the best kids books in my magic library now.

My son is only three, but if he turns out to have any interest in magic the way I did, he is going to have resources at his fingertips that I could only dream about as a child!

Dan
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sethb
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Thanks for mentioning "Spooky Magic," that was one of my favorites as a child. I also have the companion book, "Magic Made Easy," which was published in 1954.

And there's plenty of life left in these books yet -- I taught the "Jumping Rubber Bands" to my wife's 3rd grade class, and they thought it was the coolest trick they ever saw! Who knows, there may be another budding David Copperfield there . . . . SETH
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Wizardwannabe
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Wow! I thought I was the only one who fondly remembers the magic books of my youth. The library at my elementary school was the first place I ever even saw magic books and I recall it had five - all of which I checked out. There was Fun With Magic by Leeming, The First Book of Magic by Stoddard, a book by Jerry Lewis (I'm sure it was ghost-written) whose title I forget, a book by Alexander Van Rennsaler - I remember that name, incredibly, but not the title, and Magic and Magicians by Bill Severn. One of the books had a list of magic shops in the back and I can remember thinking to myself, "What? There are places that sell magic tricks?!" If you want to relive part of your childhood go to your public library specifically the children's section. Chances are a lot of the first magic books you read are still there.
Mystician
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Danelwood,
I too had "The Golden Book of Magic" by Merlini (Clayton Rawson), and Spooky Magic.
I still have the former ! (The binding is in bad shape though)
The latter I couldn't find at my parent's house, so I did an onine search, and as you point out, found both Spooky Tricks and Spooky Magic.
I bought both to be sure. Neither look quite the same as I remember my copy appearing, but I think one of them is just a re-publishing of it. I remember the effect in the back of the book where you would tie a pair of jeans to some 2x4s, put shoes on the legs, and use them for a levitation. I also remember the poltergeist effect (Fearson vanish) as you mentioned. Great books.
I'm surprised the Merlini books don't get mentioned more often. I still consider that a good book of magic - good effects, illustrations, and descriptions.
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Hushai
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[quote]On 2005-03-08 19:19, landmark wrote:
793.8 was the first place I went to in the library. Nothing there now in my local library for kids or adults.

Sad.

[quote]
Sad, indeed! And surprising, to me, anyway. In all the public libraries I have visited in my neck of the woods (St. Louis, MO) there are a number of interesting magic books in the 793.8 section, in both the adult part of the library and the children's room, too. The children's room books are maybe a little more interesting than the ones in the adult section, but there's good stuff in both areas. Some of the old classic children's books mentioned by the other posters on this thread are still there.
landmark
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Quote:
a book by Alexander Van Rennsaler - I remember that name, incredibly, but not the title


I could be wrong, but I think I remember a book about ventriloquism by him.


Jack Shalom
Bill Palmer
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My favorite when I was a kid was Illustrated Magic. I always have a copy of it and the original German edition.
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Clay Shevlin
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Another one: John Mulholland's Magic of the World. Clay
Fredrick
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Quote:
On 2005-03-16 20:31, danelwood wrote:
Just this afternoon, my wife picked up "The Golden Book of Magic, Amazing tricks for Young Magicians" by the Great Merlini (Clayton Rawson) 1964 at a used book store. I'd say it's one of the best kids books in my magic library now.


This too was one of my first. I found out during a conversation with Jeff McBride that this was one of his first magic books also.

Henry Hay's books were amongst my first also - Cyclopedia of Magic and Amateur Magician's Handbook.

~ Fredrick
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ALLEN TIPTON
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I too have a number of Bill Severn's books. They are all excellent Hope to collect them all. Wish they had been around in my youth. His trick'plots' in Magic Comedy and indeed some of his methods are well worth considering.
My first book of magic (bought in 1943) was The 50 Best Conjuring Tricks by Charles Crayford (originally in 1923) Published by Foulsham & Co. I still have it. Battered, more than well worn and much loved. About 4 years ago I found (complete with dust cover) another copy in near pristine condition. Then in a newsagents shop in Dudley, Worcestershire, UK I found New & Easy Magic, Simplified Conjuring For All by Norman Hunter. The local library was haunted so much by me that the librarian gave me Hunter's 'Successful Conjuring For Amateurs' just to get rid of me. From this I learnt the principles of levitation, the goose neck etc. Still have them. How Hunter (a member of the Magic Circle)got away with this I don't know. Dudley was a great source of magic books. I foundd Ottokar Fischer's Illustrated Magic and Magic For The Millions & Popular Magic booklets by Dunninger as well. And yes, I still have them.
Allen Tipton UK
Allen Tipton began magic at 9.Joined Staffs. Magic Soc at 14. President 8 times Guild Of Magicians Nottingham UK IBM member.1980 reproduced Dante's Show & made Magician Of Month by IBM Intern.President.Currently writing Dear Magician series in Abra magazi
andre combrinck
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Seth, does your Magic Made Easy include a trick with a hankerchief-vanishing wand?
If so, then this is also one of my favorite books from my childhood.Other books I remember(sometimes vividly):Harry Baron's Close-up Magic For Beginners,Elliott's Magic As a Hobby,Illusions Illustrated(I have no Idea who wrote this-but it had a lot of apperatus magic in,including nest of boxes,20th century silks and bill in lemon),and of course RRTCM and ECT.
Andre
Cameron Francis
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I loved Bill Severn's books when I was a kid.

You know, I recently looked at some kid's magic books in the public library and I have to say, there is some pretty great stuff in some of them. Basic stuff, sure, but a lot of seeds of materials that could be devopled into very good routines.

It's amazing what you can learn by going back to basics sometimes.
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Eric Rose
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Spooky Magic (wasn't that the one where you get a coin from under a glass by scratching the tablecloth) was a frequent pick for me at the school library. One of my favorites in the genre, though, is The Jerry Lewis Book of Tricks and Magic. The magic isn't particularly strong, but the shear moxie of hooking up the 1962 comedian - basically only appearing as a cameo at the ends of the book and the cover, still tickles me.
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