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Review: Hocus Pocus by Sylvie Desrosiers

Hocus Pocus
By Sylvie Desrosiers
Illustrated by Rémy Simard
Kids Can Press
ISBN: 9781554535774
Grades K-2
In Stores

The wordless picture book spectrum is wide, and in places, impressively deep. You have your experimental (Zoom), cinematic (Chalk, Flotsam), magical (The Red Book, The Snowman), funny (Where’s Walrus), and pretty much every point in between. Hocus Pocus joins the wordless crowd, bringing some manic comedy to the party. Resembling nothing so much as a Tom & Jerry cartoon translated into print form, Hocus Pocus is bound to be a crowd pleaser.

The story opens with a magician (Mister Magic) and his sturdy canine sidekick returning home from the market. As Mister Magic takes a nap, a blue bunny appears out of his hat. Spotting fresh carrots on the counter, rabbit envisions his next meal. But with a dog in his way, rabbit’s mission is much more difficult. Our hero gets the carrot, but not without some creative thinking.

The action is fast-paced and silly – I can almost hear the orchestral Loony Tunes soundtrack score as the story unfolds with quiet moments, chase sequences, victories and defeats.

The digital illustrations are bright and crisp, if a bit antiseptic. With liberal use of panels, the story reads like a large-format graphic novel.

An entertaining frolic that young readers will likely devour.

Review copy from publisher

Also reviewed by Sal’s Fiction Addiction.

Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


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