Cover image for Lulu's hat
Lulu's hat
Meddaugh, Susan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2002.
Physical Description:
74 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Although he sometimes fails to pull a rabbit out of his hat, Lulu"s the magician delights audiences with his unpredictable magic.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.1 1.0 58684.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In True Magic Families, a single member of each generation was born with the magician's touch. Real magic. It was a genetic quirk that no one could explain. Either you had it or you didn't.

But Lulu could never be the one in her generation gifted with magic, because Lulu was adopted. Nonetheless, Uncle Jerry the Great lets her have her chance to join him for the summer as his assistant, just like all of the other cousins. All she needed to do was warm up the crowd with a few simple tricks, but Lulu was all thumbs--until she discovers a dusty, old hat in the botom of her uncle's costume trunk. All sorts of strange things start to happen, and soon Lulu's unpredictable nature leads her on an adventure deep into Magic Space.

Author Notes

Susan Meddaugh was born and raised in Montclair, New Jersey. She graduated from Wheaton College, where she studied French literature and fine arts. After working briefly with an advertising agency in New York, she moved to Boston and worked at a publishing company for ten years, first as a designer, then art editor, and finally as art director. While there, she did the illustrations for GOOD STONES (Houghton Mifflin) by Anne Epstein, and then decided to strike out on her own as a freelance illustrator and creator of children's books. Since that time, Susan has written and illustrated many popular books for children, including MARTHA SPEAKS, which was chosen as a NEW YORK TIMES Best Illustrated Book for 1992. In 1998 she was awarded the New England Book Award, given by the New England Booksellers Association to recognize a body of work. Her work also was acknowledged with a New York Times Best Illustrated Award. She lives in Sherborn, Massachusetts.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Meddaugh's (Martha Speaks) illustrated tale of a girl magician offers comic relief for those boy-centered, multi-volume sorcery novels. Per the wizard-book formula, Lulu is 12, ordinary looking but for her strange blue eyes and adopted by a regular family that includes a career magician, Uncle Jerry. "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. In concise chapters and humorous black-and-white drawings, Meddaugh flashes between the parallel universe and the everyday world, where a boy's shenanigans land the magic hat in a pond (Lulu gets caught in a flood) and under a hair dryer ("In Deep Magic Space, a dry hot wind was blowing"). Lulu doesn't have much personality as she goes through the plotted motions, but the suspense develops nicely and the puzzle pieces snap into place for a witty outcome. Ages 6-10. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-In a True Magic Family, only one child of each generation is born with the ability to be a real magician. Since Lulu is adopted and displays no aptitude for magic at all, her cousins regard it as a "wasted summer" when the 12-year-old is tapped to be Uncle Jerry the Great's assistant. A shiny black top hat she finds soon gives her the power and confidence to perform tricks. When Hereboy, a dog, disappears into it, Lulu bravely steps in after him. While she is meeting lost apprentices in Deep Magic Space, the topper is purloined by Earl, a nasty boy who uses it for mischief. In a number of hilarious vignettes, he struggles to find the right combination of magic words to make the hat work, releasing chaos. In an amazing series of final twists, Earl, his overbearing mother, Lulu, her long-lost brother, and Hereboy come together in a satisfying conclusion that solidifies the girl's credentials, reveals her True Family identity, and wrests the chapeau from the bad boy. With plot twists, cliff-hanger chapter endings, a large dose of originality, sparkling humor, and even an epilogue, this witty chapter book will hold readers' attention. Throughout, Meddaugh's accessible, black-and-white wash illustrations add to the child appeal and create visual punctuation for this dizzy tale of a good-hearted, plucky girl who discovers not only her magic, but friendship and family as well. Hats off to Lulu.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.