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  • Writer's pictureJigar Solanki

A Compressive Guide to Magic Coloring Books

Updated: Jan 10

The Magic Coloring Book remains one of the most captivating and endearing tricks in the world of magic. Ideal for both beginners and seasoned magicians, this trick never fails to amaze audiences, especially children. Its simplicity, coupled with the delightful surprise it offers, makes it a staple in magic shows around the globe.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the enchanting world of the Magic Coloring Book. From its rich history to the secrets behind its execution, we cover everything you need to know to perform this classic trick. Whether you're a budding magician looking to add a new trick to your repertoire or a curious enthusiast fascinated by the art of magic, this article is your gateway to mastering the Magic Coloring Book.

Origins and Early Descriptions

The Magic Coloring Book trick has a storied past, tracing back to the 16th century. Its first known description was by Geronimo Cardano in his book "De Sibtilate," followed by a more famous mention in "The Discovery Of Witchcraft" (1584). These early references highlight the trick's long-standing appeal and its evolution alongside the art of magic.

Evolution Through the Centuries

Over the centuries, the Magic Coloring Book trick underwent various transformations. Initially a novelty among book publishers, it became a popular item in magic shows, especially for children. The trick's design evolved with technological advancements, particularly after the invention of the printing press, which made its production more accessible.

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Unveiling the Secret: How the Magic Coloring Book Works

  • The Basic Mechanism

At its core, the Magic Coloring Book trick is a marvel of simplicity. The secret lies in the varying widths of the pages. When the magician riffles the book, different sets of pages are revealed, each showing blank pages, black and white drawings, or colored pictures. This clever design creates the illusion of the images magically appearing and coloring themselves.

  • Variations and Modern Adaptations

Modern versions of the Magic Coloring Book have introduced more sophisticated mechanisms, including specific thumb placements for different effects. These advancements have made the trick more versatile and easier to perform, even for beginners.

Performing the Magic Coloring Book Trick

The Magic Coloring Book trick is a classic in the world of magic, beloved for its simplicity and the delightful surprise it offers. Here's a detailed guide on how to perform this enchanting trick:

Essential Materials

  • A Magic Coloring Book: This specialized book is designed with the trick in mind.

  • A Magic Wand (Optional): Adds a theatrical touch to the performance.


Before the performance, familiarize yourself with the book. Understand how the different widths of the pages work to create the illusion. There's no need for additional setup, as the book itself contains everything needed for the trick.

Step-by-Step Guide

Introduce the Book:

  • Start by showing the coloring book to the audience.

  • Display it as a regular book, ensuring not to reveal the trick.

Present the Book as Blank:

  • Hold your thumb at the bottom of the book.

  • Quickly flip through the pages to show that the book appears to be blank.

Recruit an Assistant (Optional):

  • Ask for a volunteer, preferably a child, to assist with the trick.

  • Hand them the magic wand if you're using one, as it adds to the engagement and excitement.

Reveal Black and White Pictures:

  • Position your thumb at the top corner of the book.

  • Flip through the pages again, this time revealing black and white pictures.

  • Express surprise or act as if you've magically made the images appear.

Magical Gesture:

  • Have your assistant wave the magic wand over the book, or encourage the audience to say a magic word like "abracadabra."

  • This interactive element makes the trick more engaging.

Reveal Colored Pictures:

  • Now, hold your thumb in the middle edge of the book.

  • Flip through the pages to reveal that the pictures are now colored.

  • Show your amazement and the audience's to enhance the effect.

Tips for a Successful Performance

  • Practice the Thumb Technique: The key to this trick is smoothly transitioning between the different page widths without revealing the method.

  • Engage Your Audience: Encourage participation with magic words or actions. The more involved the audience feels, the more impactful the trick.

  • Narrative and Presentation: Add a story or theme to the trick. For example, talk about bringing joy and colour to a dull world.

  • React and Interact: Show surprise and delight at each stage of the trick. Your reactions can guide the audience's responses.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  • Pages Not Flipping Correctly: Ensure your thumb is correctly positioned. Practice the motion to make it smooth and natural.

  • Audience Suspicion: If someone suspects the method, divert their attention with a story or by involving them in the trick.

  • Nervousness: If you're nervous, practice in front of friends or family first. Confidence comes with familiarity.

Making the Magic Coloring Book Entertaining

Performing the Magic Coloring Book trick isn't just about mastering the technique; it's also about how you present it to make it entertaining and memorable for your audience. Here are some strategies to enhance the entertainment value of this classic trick:

  • Develop a Captivating Storyline

Create a Narrative: Weave a story around the coloring book. For instance, you could talk about a magical land where colors have disappeared and how the magic book can bring them back.

Character Involvement: Introduce a character, like a wizard or a fairy, who needs the audience's help to bring color back to the book.

  • Audience Participation

Selecting an Assistant: Involve a member of the audience, preferably a child, as your assistant. This not only makes the performance more interactive but also adds a personal touch.

Group Involvement: Encourage the audience to participate by saying magic words or performing magic gestures together.

  • Use of Props

Magic Wand: Incorporate a magic wand for added theatrical effect. Let your assistant wave the wand over the book during crucial moments.

Themed Costumes: Dressing up in a magician's costume or a thematic outfit related to your story can enhance the visual appeal and immersion.

  • Humour and Expression

Facial Expressions and Body Language: Use expressive facial reactions and body movements to convey surprise, excitement, or confusion during the trick.

Incorporate Humor: Light-hearted jokes or funny comments can keep the audience engaged and entertained.

  • Building Suspense

Pause for Effect: Before revealing the colored pages, build suspense by pausing and hyping up the moment.

Dramatic Gestures: Use dramatic hand gestures or a suspenseful tone of voice to heighten the anticipation.

  • Combining Tricks

Add Variety: Combine the Magic Coloring Book trick with other simple tricks, like a vanishing crayon or a flower that appears from a magic wand.

Sequencing Tricks: Plan the sequence of tricks to have a smooth flow, starting with simpler tricks and leading up to the Magic Coloring Book as a grand finale.

  • Engaging All Age Groups

Adapt to Your Audience: Tailor your performance style to suit the age group of your audience. For children, focus on visuals and participation; for adults, add sophistication and humour.

  • Practice and Feedback

Rehearse: Practice your performance multiple times to ensure smooth delivery.

Seek Feedback: Perform in front of friends or family first and ask for their honest feedback to improve.

Where to Find and Buy Magic Coloring Books

  • Recommended Retailers and Online Shops

Magic Coloring Books can be found at magic shops, both physical and online. Websites like Vanishing Inc. and WonderHowTo offer a range of options.

  • What to Look for When Buying

Choose a book that suits your performance style, consider size, the quality of images, and ease of handling.


A historical classic in the field of magic, the Magic Coloring Book trick does more than just produce illusions; it animates tales, captures the imagination, and inspires moments of amazement. The secret to a great magic performance, regardless of the age group you're performing for, is to establish a rapport with them and make them feel amazed and happy. Never forget that creating an enchanted moment and an unforgettable narrative is the true purpose of every page turn and wand wave.

Note: If you want to learn about more magic tricks you can read our blog on magic card trick

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How can I make the Magic Coloring Book trick more appealing to adults?

Ans: To engage adults, focus on storytelling and humour. Create a narrative that resonates with an older audience, perhaps involving historical or artistic references, and use sophisticated humour to add an extra layer of entertainment.

Q2: What should I do if a child in the audience seems scared or hesitant to participate?

Ans: Always be sensitive to a child's comfort level. If a child seems hesitant, gently encourage them without forcing participation. You can also involve them less directly, such as asking them to say the magic words from their seat.

Q3: Can the Magic Coloring Book trick be performed in a language other than English?

Ans: Absolutely! This trick's visual effect, which cuts over language obstacles, is what makes it so beautiful. On the other hand, just modify instructions or a story to fit the language of your target audience.

Q4: How do I handle a situation where someone in the audience tries to reveal the trick?

Ans: If someone attempts to reveal the trick, handle it with grace and humour. Use a joke to divert the audience's attention or proceed quickly to the next section of your presentation. The secret is to keep the presentation under control and prevent interruptions from throwing off the flow.

Q5: Are there any variations of the Magic Coloring Book trick for seasoned magicians?

Ans: For seasoned magicians, consider customizing the book with unique images or themes relevant to your performance style. You can also integrate advanced sleight of hand or combine it with more complex tricks to create a multi-layered performance.

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