Cosentino and Jack Heath (text) and James Hart (illustrator), The Silver Thief (The Mysterious World of Cosentino #4), Scholastic Australia, February 2019, 192 pp., RRP $ 12.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781742999326
This is the fourth book in the Mysterious World of Cosentino, written with Jack Heath and illustrated by James Hart.
Cosentino is all set to launch his new magic theatre in Coppertown but when a mysterious figure informs him that the King of Diamonds is using slaves to mine silver and is keeping it out of Coppertown, he decides to investigate. With the help of Princess Priscilla and Ace, he uses a clever disguise to pass the guards of Svengali Village and enter the mine, only to find that he has been lured into a clever trap! Not only that, the miners are actually minors – children – that the King of Diamonds has enslaved. But Cosentino has a few tricks up his sleeve and manages to rescue the minors and get them back to Coppertown in time for the grand finale of his theatre launch, leaving the King dazzled by a clever illusion.
This is a fun, creative and fast-paced book from the world of Cosentino, the renowned Australian illusionist and escapologist. Cosentino’s world is rich and bizarre, with a cast of interesting characters. It dives right into the action so it may help to read the previous books before taking up this one, so as to be familiar with the characters and locations. The content is aimed at a fairly high level for junior fiction but the hilarious illustrations by James Hart help provide visual prompts. Interspersed throughout the book are “level up” boxes explaining how Cosentino achieves an illusion and at the end, there is a magic trick to try at home.
This is a great read for reluctant readers, fans of Cosentino and anyone who is into illusion and escapology.
Cosentino is touring Australia in 2019.
Reviewed by Pamela Ueckerman