Cover image for April Wilson's magpie magic : a tale of colorful mischief
April Wilson's magpie magic : a tale of colorful mischief
Wilson, April.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Magpie magic
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 cm
A wordless picture book that depicts a young artist who draws a picture of a magpie which then comes to life and interacts with a series of colorful drawings.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction A-B-C- 1-2-3 Books

On Order



In this unique approach to teaching colors, the illustrations appear to be drawn by a set of young hands, until the sketched bird takes flight off the page and plays with each subsequently drawn object.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-8. In this wordless picture book, a child's hands open a packet of colored pencils and get down to work drawing a magpie that is visible through a window. Like Crocket Johnson's Harold with his purple crayon and Florence Parry Heide's Newton (Not in the House, Newton), this child can draw pictures that come to life. The child draws irresistibly red cherries to entice the magpie down, but the bird soon makes itself a nuisance by popping a balloon and then, with powers of creation equal to the child's, by getting down to a little drawing of its own. Wilson's story can be enjoyed on several levels--as a lighthearted tale as well as a more thought-provoking one about the nature of art, the role of the artist, and whether an eraser can ever really remove what has been created. The illustrations, black-and-white except for what the bird and child draw, are vivid and spacious, and the mischievous magpie crackles with life. --Susan Dove LempkeReference Books Bulletin

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this wordless book, a drawing of a magpie comes to life. The artist (only the hands, a child's, are visible) and magpie both sketch using colored pencils, and the artist is as bent upon keeping the magpie as the bird is upon getting away. After being lured into a purple cage by some red cherries, the magpie escapes by using an eraser to create a hole in the cage. Wilson (Look Again!) makes fine use of a concept familiar at least since Harold and the Purple Crayon, and her visual story accelerates easily as the artist and bird begin to race each other. Each spread introduces only one or two colors at a time, with the rest of the illustration in finely detailed black and white; when all the colors appear in a single picture at the end, with each color labeled, a lesson has been delivered. Older readers who have long since mastered their reds, blues and greens will still find enough to engage them in the quick-moving plot. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-This gleefully wordless book begins with a pair of hands and a pile of colored pencils. Mayhem ensues when the young artist draws a magpie that comes to life and flies away. To entice it back, the child draws two red cherries that the inquisitive creature greedily devours. Next, the artist draws an orange balloon and the bird pops it. Soon, it wants to use the colored pencils too, and snatches away a stub of yellow to create a fire and some blue for bathwater. Tired of the interference, the child draws a purple cage and traps the magpie inside. Yet nothing stops this irrepressible bird. He escapes, has another close call, and ultimately redraws himself-this time with colored feathers. Playful black-and-white pencil drawings with highlights of color illustrate the fun. The final page identifies the colors used, showing a smug bird clutching a pencil. Children will want to examine this book again and again and teachers will use it as an introduction to color or for its storytelling and creative-writing potential. Don't miss this amusing tale of creative mischief.-Jackie Hechtkopf, Talent House School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.