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Lulu's Hat

Last updated Friday, October 6, 2006

Author: Susan Meddaugh
Date of Publication: 2002
ISBN: 0618152776
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2006

Synopsis: From Publishers Weekly: "Lulu's parents had often told her how Uncle Jerry had discovered her during a performance in Atlantic City," wearing a sealed locket. One summer, Lulu goes on the road with her uncle's Traveling Magic Show and discovers her knack for hat tricks. Her unpredictable top-hat produces rabbits, "giant cane toads" and a thick-set, Martha-esque dog, "and that was lucky too, because no matter what came out of Lulu's hat, the dog could always round it up." When the dog vanishes into the hat and won't come out, Lulu follows him into Deep Magic Space, where she learns the secret of her original family.

Note to readers:
•  This is a chapter book, but the chapters are short and engaging and there are lots of illustrations. You should be able to read through chapter 12.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you notice about Lulu?s Hat on the cover?
•  What kind of people have hats like that?
•  Have you ever seen someone do magic tricks? What kind?
•  Do you believe in magic?
•  What will Lulu do with her hat?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What other books do you know that involve magic and characters with a magic gift?
•  Why doesn?t Lulu?s family believe she can be the ONE?
•  What does it mean to be adopted?
•  What does the hat allow Lulu to do?
•  How does Lulu feel about Hereboy? Do you have a dog? What is it like?
•  What kind of person is Earl Zopton?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a magic wand using white copy paper and black construction paper. Roll the white copy paper length-wise and tape the end. Roll the black construction paper over the white paper so that white shows at both ends (the black paper should be shorter than the white paper). Tape the edge of the black paper. Presto, a magic wand.
•  Make a magic hat with construction paper.

Special activities:
•  Teach the kids a magic trick or have the kids share a magic trick. Easy magic trick using crayons: Have the magician close his/her eyes and someone from the audience give the magician 2 crayons from a box. Have the magician feel the crayons, secretly scraping the bottom of the crayon under their fingernails. Have the magician return the crayons to the audience. Now the magician will open his/her eyes and tell the audience which crayons they gave to him/her. Have the magician check his fingernails without being caught.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!