Add some magic to life at the Tracy Library
Over the past couple years, I have taken my children to see magic shows at the Tracy Library. It has been fun to watch their faces, eyes wide with amazement, as the magician makes cut ropes whole again or makes a rabbit appear out of his hat.
For those of you who would like some hands-on training in the art of magic, Tracy Branch Library has a program called Razzle, Dazzle, Magic for kids from 8 to 18. It is a three-part workshop that started last week, with sessions at 4 p.m. Monday and Thursday.
If you are younger than 8 or older than 18, there are still ways for you to learn about magic.
The library has an entire section dedicated to books that teach children how to perform magic tricks, such as “The Big Book of Magic Fun” by Ian Keable and “The Jumbo! Book of Magic Tricks” by Bob Longe.
My favorite is “It’s Not Magic, It’s Science: 50 Science Tricks that Mystify, Dazzle and Astound,” by Hope Buttitta. This book shows you how to do what appears to be a magic trick and then explains the science behind it.
For instance, you can poke a skewer through a balloon without popping it. If you use the right technique (explained in the book), the polymer strands that make up the latex balloon are able to stretch and accommodate the skewer. I was skeptical about this one, so I took the book home and plan to try it with my
4-year-old daughter. What a great way to teach science in a fun way!
If you are a Harry Potter fan, the library has a somewhat silly book that explains how you can tell if someone is a wizard. For example, a person who smells like magical herbs — “instead of regular kid-smells like Cheetos and dirty socks” — might be a wizard. The book, Caroline Tiger’s “The Wizard’s Handbook,” also teaches you how to make a magic wand and cast spells.
For adults or those who are interested in performing professionally, “Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic” has chapters on how to perform a variety of magic tricks and offers advice on how to stage a professional magic show.
While many of these books are written for fun and entertainment, there is a more serious side to the practice of magic. In “The Twelve Wild Swans: A Journey to the Realm of Magic, Healing, and Action” by Starhawk, the author notes that magic has been defined as “the art of changing consciousness at will.”
The book teaches the tools of that art — ritual, prayer, meditation, and trance — to offer people the means to raise “energy for personal, collective and earth healing.” A section of the book focuses on understanding your core worth, which is your inherent value as a person that is not tied to outside indicators, such as money, power or appearance.
As you can see, the Tracy Library has a variety of resources for those of you who are interested in magic, from the light-hearted to the thought-provoking. If you can’t register for the magic workshop, check out a book on the subject, and add some magic to your life.
• Tiffanie Heben is a stay-at-home mom with two kids. She serves as vice-chairwoman for the Tracy Library Advisory Board. To reach her, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 612-3627. To submit a book review, write to email@example.com.