MAGICAL KIDS; Sally Gardner; New York: Dial, 2007; 92 and 106 pgs. Intermediate Fiction
Magical Kids is a back-to-back flip-over book of two stories, "The Strongest Girl in the World," and "The Invisible Boy." In the first eight-year-old Josie Jenkins feels a tingle in her arms and then pulls apart the iron fence rails so Billy Brand can get his head out. After that, she lifts cars, horses, and cement-filled barrels. When Mr. Two-Suit takes her to New York to do her tricks, nothing is fun anymore, and she and her family barely escape back to England.
In "The Invisible Boy," Sam's parents win a trip to Outer Space on the Star Shuttle, but when the shuttle goes missing, Sam is taken in by his next-door neighbor, the wicked Mrs. Hardbottom, who is after his parents' insurance money. But Sam has a secret ally in Splodge, the space alien who loves ketchup and whose space ship looks like a salad spinner. Both stories are characterized by the inspired silliness that kids love, and their is much to charm grownups here, as well. Great read-aloud!