Cover image for Milo's hat trick
Title:
Milo's hat trick
Author:
Agee, Jon.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
[New York] : Hyperion Books for Children, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 31 cm
Summary:
In the busy city, there are lots of people with hats. But there is only one guy with a bear in his hat. That's Milo. The Magician.
General Note:
Also published by Dial Books for Young Readers.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
190 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.4 0.5 57051.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.5 1 Quiz: 25159 Guided reading level: L.
ISBN:
9780786809028

9780735229877
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Milo the magician is a mess. Not only does he botch his card tricks and tangle his rope tricks, but he can't even manage the old standby: pulling a rabbit from a hat. Spurred on by his manager's fury, Milo heads out of the city to find himself a rabbit. Dangling a carrot over his top hat, our magnificent magician captures... a bear. Here is where his luck turns. As it happens, this particular bear is adept at jumping into hats: " You just pretend your bones are made of rubber," he says. " It's a secret I learned from a rabbit. " Returning to the city, (after a brief mix-up on the subway), the two quickly become a smash sensation. But after popping in and out of 762 hats, the bear is positively pooped. Can Milo carry on without his rubber-boned buddy? Jon Agee illustrates his eccentric story with strange yet wonderful illustrations of blank-eyed, big-nosed, redheaded Milo in too-short trousers, and the cavalier, hat-hopping bear. Perfect comedic timing and a nutty plot ensure that readers of all ages will adore this tale of a misfit's triumph. (Ages 3 to 8) --Emilie Coulter


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3-7. Milo the Magnificent is a horrible magician. When his theater manager gives him an ultimatum ("Tomorrow night you better pull a rabbit out of your hat"), Milo panics and heads out in search of an animal prop, but it's a bear, not a rabbit that he meets in the meadow. Luckily the bear learned the secret of hat tricks from a rabbit: "You make your bones like rubber." Eventually the pair becomes a hit act, but winter comes, and the bear returns to his cave. By that time, though, Milo has learned the hat trick and makes himself disappear into the brim of his own top hat. Agee's bold, angular pencil-and-paint illustrations drive this warm story about perseverance, luck, and courage, which becomes more magical once the trick's secret is revealed. The simple, well-paced text is spiced with endearing dialogue that will earn children's sympathy. A winning read-aloud. --Gillian Engberg


Publisher's Weekly Review

With marvelously economical narration and line drawings, Agee (The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau) conjures a formidable tale of a struggling magician. Milo could be Little Orphan Annie's uncle or a caricature of John Lennon. His brick-red mop of hair and thick mustache bracket pupil-less eyes and a voluminous nose, and a too-tight gray suit adds to his hangdog appearance. Onstage, he's no Houdini. He doesn't even have a rabbit for his act, and in trying to catch one (by dangling a carrot from a stick), he attracts a brown bear. This incident provides the absurd turning point of the story, for the immense animal executes a flawless dive into Milo's top hat ("You just pretend your bones are made of rubber. It's a secret I learned from a rabbit," the bear explains). Sitcom developments follow: the bear nonchalantly agrees to perform, Milo loses his furry friend on the train and the top hat walks the New York City streets on two clawed feet. Agee sets off the delectably far-fetched story line with pared-down charcoal-and-watercolor illustrations, and the strong planes and diagonals of his cityscapes recall Ben Katchor's comics. Understated writing complements the surreal images; when the hat finally reaches the theater, "Milo whistled and out popped the bear. `Boy,' said the bear, `am I glad to see you!'" In this accomplished book, Agee's plot twists are as surprising as, well, pulling a bear out of a hat. Ages 3-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Milo is a failing magician in a vaudeville show. Told by the proprietor to find a rabbit for his hat trick, Milo instead finds a bear that fits in his hat. The duo is a success, but the bear is exhausted from doing his trick so often. After the bear returns to his cave in the woods, Milo finds his own method for the trick. This is a gentle, hopeful story with some interesting twists as the hat and bear get lost on the way to the show. Kirby Heyborne does a wonderful job narrating. The brief story makes good use of sound effects, such as a rollicking piano during the vaudeville show and slight echo for the bear's cave, though sometimes the effects end abruptly before the scene changes which is slightly jarring. VERDICT Kids will enjoy this short but fun tale.-C.A. Fehmel, St. Louis County Library, MO (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.