Synopses & Reviews
Ten-year-old twins Lacey and Casey Nicefolk live on a tiny herb farm in California, wishing they could see the world...but how, when times are so hard? That is where Sucoh Sucop comes in (you may notice his name is Hocus Pocus spelled backward).The mysterious man leaves the twins a magic box that can transform any toy into a life-sized reality. Soon Casey and Lacey, and their faithful hound Floopy, are soaring cross-country through the sky in the enchanted Vin Fiz, Casey's model of a Wright Brothers biplane. Yet the ride is not a smooth one. The twins encounter danger after danger, and must rescue a town held captive by gold-hungry bandits, not to mention a runaway train full of terrified passengers!
"Bestselling adult author Cussler meshes fantasy and adventure in this lighthearted tale, which opens on a California farm. After an itinerant farmhand arrives to help the Nicefolk family with the harvest, twin 10-year-old siblings Casey and Lacey begin to hear 'unexplainable tinkling and clinking noises' coming from the barn. On his departure, the stranger gives the kids a contraption that can make toys life-size but they must only use the device to do good and must keep it a secret. Cussler sets his tale at a time when steamboats still traveled the Mississippi: Casey builds a replica of the Wright brothers' biplane, 'Flyer', which he names 'Vin Fiz' (after his favorite soda pop), and uses the magical machine to enlarge it. The twins and their dog take off on a cross-country flight in the aircraft, which possesses a 'mystical vision' that draws it to people in danger. Under her guidance, the youngsters help free Nevada townsfolk forced by scoundrels to labor in a gold mine, halt a runaway train overtaken by bandits in Ohio and stop two girls from tumbling over Niagara Falls. Cussler sprinkles his folksy narrative with instructional notes ('A 'line', by the way, is nautical talk for rope') and facts (almost 800,000 gallons of water rush over Niagara Falls every second), and characters' names emphasize the text's tall-tale quality (e.g., Ever and Ima Nicefolk, Stoke and Blaze Firepit). This genial, at times suspenseful, caper wraps up with a note about the real 'Vin Fiz', and Farnsworth's drawings dramatize the climactic scenes. Ages 7-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The bestsellling adventure author pens his first tale for kids. Twins Casey and Lacey Nicefolk are given a magic box that can transform any toy into a life-sized reality. Soon, the twins are soaring in an enchanted model of the Wright Brothers' biplane.
Ten-year-old twins Lacey and Casey Nicefolk have always wanted to fly, but kids can’t fly . . . or can they? They can if they know the mysterious Sucoh Sucop, a man who claims to have an enchanted box that can transform any toy into the real thing! Before you know it, the twins, along with their droopy-eared basset hound, Floopy, are soaring cross-country in a real-live Wright brothers biplane, which they name Vin Fiz (after Casey’s favorite grape soda). But dangers lurk everywhere, and if the twins are to make it all the way to New York, their courage will have to make heroes of them many times over. Thank goodness they have the magical Vin Fiz on their side!
About the Author
Cussler collects classic automobiles. He divides his time between Arizona and the mountains of Colorado. He has discovered more than 60 lost ships of historic significance. He has led expeditions to find famous aircraft and shipwrecks.
Farnsworth is a graduate of the Ringling School of Art and Design.