Wednesday, December 21, 2011

3 Magic Balls by Richard Egielski

Copyright © 2000 by Richard Egielski

Rudy works in his Uncle Dinkleschmidt’s toy store. One day a mysterious, strangely attired woman enters carrying a glass box containing three colored balls with painted faces.   She explains that she wants to ditch the balls at the store because they are too much trouble.  When Uncle Dinkleschmidt takes the box, one of the balls appears to wink at Rudy. The woman hands Rudy a whistle, without an explanation as to its purpose, and then simply vanishes into thin air.
Uncle Dinkleschmidt has a dentist appointment, but as he departs, he cautions Rudy against playing  with any of the toys. The mischievous balls immediately entice Rudy by whispering,  “Come. . . .Come. . .  Come,” then louder "Take. . . . Take. . . . Take" and finally shouting, "BOUNCE! BOUNCE! BOUNCE!"  Rudy, a typical child, immediately disregards his uncle’s previous warning, retrieves the balls and bounces one - up pops a yellow rubber man.  The yellow man then yells, “now meet my brothers,” and bounces the other two balls. People on the street are awed when the three rubber men, with Rudy on one of their backs, bounce out the store and then down the street.
As the four of them cause quite a commotion, an out of control airplane comes into view. The quick thinking yellow man reduces the speed of the airplane by bracing himself against a flag pole and grabbing the plane's wings.  The blue man suffocates the smoke billowing from the plane, by swallowing the smoke and the red man cushions the planes as it crash lands.
As a result of their heroism, one rubber man is stretched out of shape, one is swollen and one is flat as a pancake.  The ball brothers are courageous but whiny, and they begin to bawl about their altered physical appearance. Rudy is at a loss as for what to do, but then he remembers the whistle. He blows it and the rubber men shrink back down to balls. Rudy quickly gathers them up and scampers back to the store, arriving only moments before Uncle Dinkleschmidt.  On payday, you can guess what Rudy does - he informs his uncle that he wants to purchase the balls.

3 Magic Balls is a book that my kids enjoy as much for the story contained between the covers, as they do for the story that they believe comes after the book ends.  They are confident that those naughty ball brothers will not be well-behaved and that is why Rudy purchased them.  It is great fun for the kids to imagine the adventures that Rudy and the 3 colorful balls will have, once Rudy takes them home.

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