Magic or Not? (Tales of Magic, #5)
by Edward Eager, N.M. Bodecker (Illustrator), Quentin Blake (Cover Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars
I loved rereading this children’s classic! When twins Laura and James move to the country, they find an old wishing well, and begin to test the magic waters with their wishes. The wishes seem to come true, but in such regular, mundane ways that the children can’t be sure… was it magic or not? The eccentric Lydia comes blasting into their adventures, and their neighbor Kip joins in the fun.
The wishing well definitely appears to be influencing their adventures, but only when they wish something good for others, never when they wish for themselves. So the four friends attempt a quest of good deeds, with mixed results when the disgustingly spoiled rich kid, Gordy, begins to tag along and pester them. Can the children accept the strange directions that the wishing well sends them, or will they draw the line at including the nasty Gordy in their group?
I just adore everything about this book! The whimsical plot, the endearing characters, and the way the author keeps you guessing… was it really magic? …or not?
I, for one, believe that it was definitely magic, although perhaps a mild type of magic.
The best part is seeing how the children slowly make friends, and begin to understand one another, forming a close-knit group until the spoiled Gordy comes along. Their friendship dynamic really pushes the story along, and makes every moment delightfully peppery.
2021 Update: Rereading it again is just as delightful and fun!