Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Milo's Hat Trick"

Milo’s Hat Trick
Written and illustrated by: Jon Agee
Published by: Michael Di Capua Books in NY in 2001
ISBN: 0-7868-0902-7
Genre: Picture Book
Reading Level: Grade 2
Activity Level: Kindergarten

Summary: This book is about a magician who is having trouble with his magic hat trick. He meets a bear who shows him how to jump into his hat by pretending his bones are made of rubber. On a subway one morning Milo misplaces his hat, and the bear, after being tired of remaining in the hat so long, jumps out and scares people. Eventually he returns the hat to Milo and helps him with his show, but when it becomes time for the bear to hibernate he can no longer help the magician, therefore, Milo takes what he has learned from the bear and begins jumping in and out of his own hat.

Response: I love that this is once again quirky work from Mr. Agee. One never really knows what to expect from him, but a very interesting story. I love the twist at the end when the magician starts to actually become a part of his own magic act.

The illustrations in this book are classic Agee. Drawn with what appears to be crayon and colored with marker. These illustrations are full of background detail and muted colors, and the majority of the illustrations are single-page spreads.

Teaching Connections: This book would be good to read to a kindergarten class. They would enjoy the magician part of the story and the twist at the end. The teacher could ask her class, after reading the book, what there is to learn from this work. They could have a subsequent discussion about how we can learn from one another and help one another.

What Students Learn: From this book and subsequent discussion students learn about the importance of helping each other.

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