Kesta Fleming (text) and Marjory Gardner (illustrator), Marlow Brown Magician in the Making, Celapene Press, June 2021, 104 pp., RRP $14.95
Marlow Brown is Kesta Fleming’s irresistible young character, the scourge of her mother’s desire for order and a source of endless entertainment for her father who loves a spot of chaos in the family household. In this brief, madcap novel, Marlow decides to learn magic.
Her dog Rockstar is her over-attentive assistant at first, and after one disastrous show at home, that soaked her mother, a trick involving an upside-down glass of water, Marlow manages to make it into a school talent show. This is when the real fun begins, and the cause of this is her deepening interest in hypnosis and pen-spinning (you can look up this sport on the internet). Though you might say the outcome of her hypnosis show was even more catastrophic than her at-home show, at least it kick-starts what might become a career—possibly in crisis management or possibly in magic. In any case, Marlow provides plenty of spills and slips and unintended consequences in this fun and funny novel.
Marjory Gardner’s cartoon-style illustrations are well fitted to the narrative, highly expressive and show a delight in the events and characters.
Reviewed by Kevin Brophy