Houdini Carini
by Anne Zadek
L. O. Annie Press

"Begin at the beginning. Start Small. Practice makes perfect."

Two magician parents have a creative daughter named Houdini Carini who dreams of following in her parents' footsteps and one day becoming a famous and successful magician. Her parents encourage this dream by gifting her with a magic instruction book, cape, wand, and hat for Christmas. She eagerly jumps into the world of magic, looking for the shortcuts to the most elaborate tricks to entertain her audience. Will Houdini succeed in dazzling her audience, or will her attempt at shortcutting the tricks backfire? Will she follow her expert magician parents’ advice, or will she forge her own path to greatness?

Readers will find this delightful read striking and fun. The theatrical style of describing the tricks, such as the Mystifying Card Conundrum, Cavalcade of Creatures, and Difficult Everlasting Fountain Trick, provides a meaningful way for readers to imagine they are present for Houdini’s performance. The author demonstrates to the reader that the experienced parents mastery level is indicated by even more elaborate and complicated names for their tricks such as Mysterious Spectacle of the Levitating Mammoth and the Astounding Illusion of the Whispering Sphinx.

Zadek adeptly teaches a memorable lesson of patience and practice in this lively story. The card trick at the story’s conclusion demonstrates the author’s dedication to portraying the gift of magic to her audience. The story illustrates that true magnificence does not only come from talent but also from hard work and years of diligent studying. Readers will be reminded of the importance of humility and persistence in accomplishing success in any of life’s endeavors.

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