Magic Candies

by Heena Baek (Author) Heena Baek (Illustrator)

Magic Candies
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

A quirky story about finding your voice, from internationally acclaimed author Heena Baek.

Tong Tong could never have imagined what everyone around him was thinking. But when he gets hold of some magic candies, suddenly there are voices everywhere. He can hear how his couch feels, what upsets his dog, that his demanding dad loves him. He even gets to catch up with his dead grandmother. It turns out, these voices in Tong Tong's life have A LOT to say! Is Tong Tong ready to hear it?

At turns funny, weird, and heartfelt, this imaginative picture book from award-winning Korean author Heena Baek will take readers along on Tong Tong's journey as he goes from lonely to brave.

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Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

This poignantly told fantasy stars Tong Tong, a lonely child who, looking for new marbles in a shop, buys a small bag of hard candies that offer magical hearing powers. The first hard orb, which matches the pattern of the family sofa, lets loose the sofa's voice, allowing Tong Tong to find a lost remote. (The sofa also puts forth a request: "Tell your dad to give the farting a rest.") When Tong Tong's father arrives home, the dad's endless admonitions fill an entire page with closely printed words--translator Bowman handles these with skill--but another candy lets Tong Tong hear the love behind them. Still another reveals the voice of the child's departed grandmother ("Don't worry about me. I'm having so much fun here"). Show-stopping spreads by Baek, similar to art by Red Nose Studio, feature molded, emotive figures in meticulously constructed scenery with miniature furniture, photographed under dramatic lighting--an effect startlingly close to animation. It's a fully realized world that considers discerning meaning and making friends, while offering artwork that lingers in the memory. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Deeply touching, funny, and incredibly odd, this is the kind of picture book that gets you excited about picture books all over again...Magic Candies is so remarkable...a book that is both about giving voice to the voiceless and finding your own." —Betsy Bird, School Library Journal

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
September 20, 2021

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