You are absolutely right. Anything can work if it's presented correctly.
I've never had a kid make a statement about the coloring book. I usually use it for kids seven and below.
Vanishing silks have always been just fine also. D-lites have always been a plus. As far as the P&J I wouldn't ever give out anything to eat anyway.
If they choke on it......oops!
Anyone can take a stinky sock and make it into a good routine, just present it right and make it funny.
Kids aren't all that amazed at the magic, it's how fun you make it. Kids like fun! that is their life and they don't care where or how it's done or with what.
Fine... a plus... Those dont sound like words of strong magic. Yes, there is a suspension of disbelief, but not a huge one. Kids are hard to fool, but if you go out there confidently, they are polite. I have done a sucker trick and gotten applause from the obviously bad magic that just took place. Why? Because their parients taught them to be polite. So, just having a reaction doesnt leave your audience amazed. After a while of D'lites, it becomes very anti-climatic, for 1 simple reason, THERE IS NO CLIMAX! And the coloring book. Do you not realize how strong the effect would be if you started out with a coloring book with just the pictures. The audience waves the magical crayon over it and it has scribbles outside the lines and horrable drawings on it. Then after 1 more wave therre are a bunch of trawings in it that are obvously colored in wigh a crayon by hand, but are all inside the lines? That would look infinately better than the stupid coloring book used now. I have been doing kids shows since I was 8 for libraries around southern california, and I know how kids will react to different tricks. I know that when I was a kid, and I was a magician do the coloring book thing, me and my friends were wondering why it was professionally printed. But, perform that which you want. I have given hard core proof behind my statements, while all you say is "Every trick can be amazing." Well I have a chalenge for you, make 10 minutes of thimble magic amazing. It is impossible.