Friday, May 24, 2013

PPBF: Houdini


. . . World's Greatest Mystery Man and Escape King



Welcome again to Perfect Picture Book Fridays, where we review picture books which we deem worthy of mention.  This concept was created by Susanna Hill, and is a helpful resource for librarians, teachers and parents.  For a list of all books reviewed so far, along with activities to complement them, click here.




Author: Kathleen Krull
Illustrator: Eric Velasquez
Publisher: Walker and Company
Date: 2005


Genre: Juvenile Biography
Ages: 6-10

Themes: Houdini, magicians, escape artists, perseverance

Front Flap: "He made himself a living legend and became the most famous name in magic. But Harry Houdini, like his acts, was fascinating and mysterious. As a child, he was often on the edge of homelessness, so he would charge crowds to watch him perform tricks he knew no one else could do. After leaving home to seem his fortune, Houdini mastered every form of magic available--card tricks, juggling, illusions--and traveled the world over to make a name for himself. . ."

First Lines: "Watch Houdini thump and pound at a steel can meant to hold milk. His assistants pour twenty pails of water into the can. They handcuff him, then help him inside. He shrinks, he curls, he takes a big gulp of air. . ."

Why I like this book: I have always been fascinated with Houdini, even as a child. I remember watching a movie back in the 70's about his life and work. Not only does it chronicle his progress, but tells about all his famous tricks and feats. The back of the book holds a bibliography, and a list of films about his life.


Links:


Find the used book here


Interesting website about the Houdini museum here


Fourth grade unit on Houdini found here


Have you, too, been fascinated with Houdini's performances?


14 comments:

  1. I always wondered how Houdini learned a trick the first time--if you don't get it right, you're dead! Those are pretty big stakes.

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    1. Me, too, Wendy! I think he had men standing by to release him just in case.

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  2. Jarm, he certainly inspired many magicians and illusionists today. I liked him as a child too. This sounds like great historical fiction. I wonder what he'd think about the level illusion has reached today.

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  3. I bet I saw the same movie back in 1976. This book will be a great introduction for kids. I like that it is aimed at a young age level. If you're ever in our neck of the woods, you should definitely visit the Houdini Museum and tour in Scranton, PA. It's an amazing collection.

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    1. Yes, Joanna. . .I never knew it existed until now. Sounds like a good field trip opportunity!

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  4. Me too - thanks for introducing this pick!

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  5. His tricks were out of this world. Very interesting topic for a book and great for kids. Thanks Jarm.

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    1. I'll say! You are entirely welcome. It's a fun challenge to find historical fiction for PPBFs

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  6. I think every kid is intrigued by magic, aren't they?! This sounds like a great book. I'll bet my nephews would love it. Thanks for spotlighting it.

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    1. I know your nephews would love it, Ruth!!

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  7. I was always fascinated with Houdini as well! Thank you for highlighting this book. Sorry I missed you on A to Z!

    Mary Montague Sikes

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    1. You are welcome, Mary. . .sorry I missed you, too!

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I would love to have you comment...thanks!

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