By Chronicle Books

Reviewed for Fourth Grade, 2010

It's hard not to believe in the magic of the Great Scratchini. Choose a coin from a list, a number from mid-air, or a hat from a sea of choices, and he'll predict your answer. Think of a secret number between 1 and 20, and the Great Scratchini will lead you through a series of steps ... then put your number in a picture right before your eyes! This interactive little collection contains 40 "tricks", in the style of a live magic show. Just follow the step-by-step directions on each page, scratch off various bits with a coin, and voilà! You'll be amazed at how accurately the Great Scratchini can predict your answers, and how much wow factor can fit in this very small package. While kids are staring in awe as he guesses which state, or number, or fruit they've picked, they'll be working reading and mental math skills on the fly. And because these tricks are driven by mathematical reasoning and logic, there's plenty of detective work and discussion, once the cards have been scratched away... (Chronicle, $9.95)