Mossby's Magic Carpet Handbook, by Ilona Bray

Mossby's Magic Carpet Handbook, by Ilona Bray, subtitled "A Flyer's Guide to Mossby's Model D3 Extra-Small Magic Carpet" (Innovation Press, Sept. 2017)  is an oversize book that purports to be, as the subtitle indicates, an instructional manual to the proper techniques of magic carpet flying, with lots of illustrations. There's a framing device that adds a bit of story and gives the instructions a personal touch--the manual has just been handed down by an old great aunt, with the promise of a the carpet to come, and the great aunt leaves marginal commentary on the official text.

What makes this book stand out is that not only is there the fun magical premise of how exactly to operate a magic carpet (with practical advice on bathroom issue and such), but the carpet flying is also a cool framework for expository nonfiction.  There's fascinating information about flying, useful information about map reading, interesting tidbits about strange foods of the world and animals you might encounter, presented in a very kid-friendly way.  (I learned a few things I didn't know, which is always nice for me.  For instance, swing at the playground is 2 G's, a sneeze has the force of 2.9 G's, and a rocket being launched is 3 G's).

The kids shown in the handbook are a diverse bunch; many are not white.  And the inheritor of the carpet is nicely ungendered as well.

The book bears a faint resemblance to the books in Candlewick's "ology" series, though it doesn't have the bling elements of those covers, and doesn't have flaps and pockets and stuff inside.   Kids who like those will be drawn to this one.  Also consider giving it to the kid who is fascinated by looking down on the world from above!  Short answer: a very good book to give as a present, that simultaneously entertains and instructs.

disclaimer: review copy received for Cybils Award consideration.


  1. I just realized a bunch of my comments have been lost because I've been navigating away before getting through all the proving that I'm a human. :(

    This book sounds quite funny! I hadn't heard of it before, but will keep an eye out for a copy! I never thought about bathroom issues on flying carpets before.

    1. Rats viz disappearing comments, but thank you lots for nevertheless persisting!


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