Sunday, April 27, 2014



Manual de Casas Encantadas
Mónica Carretero
Señora Muac and her son are looking for a new home, a place with fresh air, preferably in the country, but everything they find is too expensive! Finally they come across a real estate agent that specializes in Haunted Houses. First, Señora Muac and her son (along with the reader) learn what a Haunted House is, exactly: a house with ghosts. Then the proprietor goes through common places to find spirits in a home, as well as the different types of spirits, such as shadows, bed sheet ghosts, and so on. There is a small game midway before the houses that are on the market are shown, where the goal is to find the number of ghosts in the room. Señora Muac and her son are shown several houses, and the last one proves to be perfect: by the sea, quiet, with two ghosts: a pirate and his mother. In the end, it was a great idea to buy a Haunted House, and much less expensive. The book ends with a maze game, spot-the-difference game, and word search. A very cute “manual” for Haunted Houses with nice information, fun, and games, as well as a very funny real estate agent!

Witches Handbook
Mónica Carretero
This handbook is also part of the MANUALES series by Mónica Carretero. My library has this as a print version (Witches Handbook) and electronic version (Manual de Brujas). For this one I am going to be looking at the print version, Witches Handbook. The book follows a young girl and boy as they visit their Aunt Amarga, who tells them she believes she is the last witch, and that the Witches Handbook, which holds a history of witches and secrets, will disappear once she does if she truly is the last witch. As Aunt Amarga reads the Witches Handbook to her niece and nephew, they (and we) learn what a witch is (although I wonder why the author chose to make them all bad), geography of witches, famous witches, a small history and game of the Middle Ages, transportation, animals, potions and spells, and celebrations. Many fairy tales are alluded to in the text, such as Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Sleeping Beauty, and the illustrations are just as nice as those in Manual de Casas Encantadas. This really does read like a Witches Handbook, and this book seems like one that would be found in a library like Hogwarts Library. Very detailed, fun, and recommended for those who love magic.

These manuals were so much fun, I may even purchase copies for my personal library in the future.

If you are searching for similar magic books for young readers, I recommend:

The Princess and the Pets
Angela Kanter
Ill. By Maddy McClellan

A young princess wishes to have a pet, but due to text messaging errors by her Fairy Godmother, the family gets something very unexpected.

Lulu Goes to Witch School
Jane O’Connor
Ill. By Bella Sinclair
Text © 1987, Illustrations ©2013

Lulu Witch starts learning new things at Witch School, but Sandy Witch does everything better than her! Will Lulu and Sandy ever be friends? This book has great detailed illustrations of jars with ingredients, spell books, drawings, and much more, including a Dracula cauldron lunch box!

Speaking of Manuals:

Manual de Fútbol
Helen Edom

Manual de Equitación
Helen Edom

Manual de Ballet
Helen Edom

All three of these manuals do a great job of teaching the reader how to perform the sport: football, riding, and ballet. Many times at the library a patron has asked for a basic guide to a sport, and these are perfect. Many times a guide will include pages full of famous players and the history of the sport, and while these do include a little of this at times, most of the book takes the reader through the rules and proper ways to play the sport, complete with illustrations and basic explanations!

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