The Magician's Hat

by Malcolm Mitchell (Author) Joanne Lew-Vriethoff (Illustrator)

The Magician's Hat
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Super Bowl champion and literacy crusader Malcolm Mitchell presents the story of a magician who reveals an awe-inspiring treasure from his bag of tricks -- books that make every kid's dream come true!

This is not your typical afternoon at the library -- a magician invites kids to reach into his hat to pull out whatever they find when they dig down deep. Soon -- poof! -- each child comes away with something better than they could've imagined -- a book that helps them become whatever they want to be, and makes their dreams come true through pages and words, and the adventures that follow. But each child can't help but wonder, What's really making the magic happen?

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Lew-Vriethoff’s cheery biblio bustle, replete with diverse sets of parents and children sharing books in a spacious, modern library, culminates in a view of the magician turning his big, seemingly bottomless hat toward readers with a (perhaps the) question: “What are your dreams?”

Copyright 2017 Booklist, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

New England Patriots wide receiver Mitchell has written a serviceable paean to reading as a means of making your (career) dreams come true. Suitably cheerful cartoon illustrations show a diverse group of children and families at a magic show at the library, with psychic reader's advisory as the grand finale. One by one, children from the audience reach into the magician's top hat for books, each of which is somehow about that child's dream career, thus proving that "books are magic." The lanky white magician even convinces a skeptical kid who claims to want to be a dog when he grows up: deep down the boy wants to be an astronaut, so the magic hat gives him a book about space. There are missed opportunities to promote the joy of reading for its own sake, as well as to encourage perseverance when reading does not feel like magic. Nevertheless, the amusing story encourages children to see the library as a fun place and to see books as a source of inspiration and support for their passions. VERDICT A good-natured addition, if a bit simplistic about the benefits of reading.—Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Malcolm Mitchell
Malcolm Mitchell is the rookie who helped the New England Patriots win Super Bowl LI. He's also the founder of an initiative called Read with Malcolm, which introduces book ownership to students, and works to improve literacy in schools. Malcolm's Share the Magic Foundation promotes the benefits of reading to kids in underserved communities. As the New England Patriots Summer Reading Ambassador, he encourages summer reading. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Joanne Lew-Vriethoff is the acclaimed illustrator of many picture books, including Beautiful by Stacy McAnulty, named among School Library Journal's 2016 Books with a Message. She is a Mom's Choice Gold Award medal winner whose illustrations can be found in The Dancing Pancake by Eileen Spinelli and Peace, Baby! by Linda Ashman. Joanne also is the illustrator of the Hilde Cracks the Case series by Hilde Lysiak. She lives in Amsterdam with her husband and two children.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
February 20, 2018
School Library Connection

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