When I was younger, I went to teach on a remote island in the South Pacific. For many of the children there, I looked different and even scary. I figured I needed a way to break the ice, and show them that I was a nice person and not to be afraid. Eventually, I hit on an idea which didn’t require speaking — magic tricks. I only knew one magic trick, which involved repeatedly fumbling with a coin until it “disappeared,” and then discovering it in the nearest child’s ear. I’d give them the coin to show it was a real ordinary coin, and they could get a piece of candy or something with it.
I learned that a little sleight of hand does wonders to break the ice, even when I didn’t really know what to say. So remembering that, I was happy to see 101 Magic Tricks, which offers simple tricks that anyone could do in a variety of social situations. The chapters include magic in the classroom, office magic, restaurant magic, holiday magic, and so on. The book itself is well bound, with a clever, dynamic layout and design, lots of step-by-step photography on each page. The text is clear, and the tricks are easy to learn and perform — and are perfect for guests, parties, and children, too. It’s a great way to “magically” break the ice and put others (and yourself) at ease and have a bit of fun at the same time.