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Milo's Hat Trick
     

Milo's Hat Trick

by Jon Agee, Kirby Heyborne (Narrated by)
 

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Milo the Magnificent isn't magnificent at all. His card trick is hopeless. His rope trick is a mess. So the theater manager gives him one last chance: Milo has to pull a rabbit out of his hat at the next performance - or else. With carrot, string, and stick, Milo heads for the woods in search of a rabbit. Instead he catches a bear, a very clever bear, whose

Overview

Milo the Magnificent isn't magnificent at all. His card trick is hopeless. His rope trick is a mess. So the theater manager gives him one last chance: Milo has to pull a rabbit out of his hat at the next performance - or else. With carrot, string, and stick, Milo heads for the woods in search of a rabbit. Instead he catches a bear, a very clever bear, whose sensational hat trick just might save Milo's magic act.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - Audio
02/01/2015
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
Picture-book artist and cartoonist William Steig has called Agee "one of the great illustrators of our time." In this quirky, amusing picture book, Agee uses loose black outlines, exaggerated figures and washes of watercolor to tell the tale of a bumbling magician named Milo. Milo is looking for a rabbit to pull out of his hat when he meets a helpful bear who gets lost in the city and shows up at Milo's magic show, turning the magician's act into a smashing success.


Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Milo the magician calls himself "Magnificent," but he is really rather pathetic. While trying to catch a rabbit for his "magic" hat, he encounters a bear with the ability to vanish into and pop out of his hat, along with a willingness to join his act. After a heart-stopping crisis when he loses the hat, Milo not only becomes a hit performer with the bear, but also without him. Tongue-in-cheek humor enriches a satisfying tale of success. Despite his empty white eyes, bulbous nose, lank red hair and mustache, we still root for this poor excuse of a magician. Certainly, the gentle brown bear adds considerably to the appeal. The artist's sometimes tinted, rough-and-ready drawings overrun the large pages with images of New York streets and theater, creating the settings for the comic action. 2001, Michael Di Capua Books/Hyperion Books for Children, $15.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Make room on your shelves for this laugh-out-loud story about a rather untalented magician whose tricks are tangled, botched, and "just pathetic." He sets off in search of a rabbit for his bag of tricks when his boss gives him just one more chance to enhance his act. Instead of finding a rabbit, Milo catches and befriends a bear that teaches him a few tricks and they become a wildly successful magical duo. The theater manager is delighted, but the bear gets "pooped" from popping out of 762 hats, leaving Milo with a dilemma. Agee's amusing illustrations use interesting perspectives and close-up crops to focus on the characters and action. The deceptively simple lines provide just the right expressions and feelings for the bear. The book is an enchanting combination of a humorous text with rich vocabulary that children will enjoy and illustrations that extend the text and prompt prediction. Readers will love and identify with the failures and success of Milo the Magnificent and will be charmed by the bear and this endearing relationship. Agee has a hit on his hands with this fresh and funny crowd pleaser.-Helen Foster James, University of California at San Diego Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Child Magazine
A Child Magazine Best Book of 2001 Pick

Milo the Magnificent, a wannabe magician, is anything but. He "botched his card trick. He tangled his rope trick. And his hat trick was just pathetic." Enter a bear, who saves the day with a truly amazing feat.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781633795358
Publisher:
Dreamscape Media
Publication date:
11/04/2014
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 5.60(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Kirby Heyborne has received critical acclaim for his starring role in the award-winning World War II drama Saints and Soldiers. He has had starring roles in eight other features and two short films, and has also appeared on the WB's Everwood and many national commercials. He has garnered rave reviews for his narration for Books on Tape over the years and is considered one of the finest narrators working today.

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