Papa never allowed his kids to have a dog, but after Papa leaves home looking for the magic necessary to enable him to write great poetry, Mama loads the two kids into the car and heads for the animal shelter, intent on replacing her "flawed" husband with a dog. They come home with magic: four dogs and one cat (requested by 4-year-old Elinor) who indeed fill the vacuum left by Papa.
The story is told by William, their 5th grade son, who has seen Papa pull this vanishing act before. Although he has always returned, William isn't buying his excuses this time. He is sure that Papa will not return, so he stops listening for the phone to ring and for the door to open. He enjoys the dogs who seem to understand their role perfectly. They are protectors and entertainers. He watches Elinor talk to them and listen to them. It isn't long before William can hear them, too.
When Mama gets sick, Lula the cat shares her diagnosis to the dogs. What is wrong? Should Mama tell Papa? Neo, the biggest dog thinks so and shares his sage advice with William who passes it along to Mama.
What will happen when Papa finally comes home? Can any explanation he gives be apology enough? Should William ever forgive him? Has Papa really changed? Will he leave again?
An easy read in only 138 pages, Waiting for the Magic is an endearing realistic fantasy, one too familiar to many families in the United States today... children being raised in one-parent families because Papa has gone away looking for magic when the real magic is in the home he left. Too few papas ever realize that, but in Waiting for the Magic, Papa discovers it in the dogs that initiate the magic. He realizes that the dogs’ eight eyes became HIM while he was away. They watched over the family. They protected them, and when he came home, they were a beacon that reminded him who he was.
... perhaps if more young boys have four dogs from a shelter in their homes (not locked in cages or isolated in the back yard) to work magic on them, they will become fathers who never leave home.
Waiting for the Magic combines the unlikely genres of realism and fantasy to produce an entertaining look at a family in turmoil. Appealing charcoal pencil illustrations by Amy June Bates add to the smiles while Elinor's hysterical one-liners, the dog's antics, cute grandparents, and an eccentric friend all add to the fun, A double-surprise ending tops off this story with a two-cherry cheer!
The Kids Wings literature guide and Jeopardy-type game by Suzy Red provide beautifully planned curriculum that leads to the development of character, academic skills, team building, and guarantees thoughtful social and exciting academic growth for every classroom.
THIS KIDS WINGS LITERATURE GUIDE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES in both PowerPoint and PDF formats:
Pre-reading Discussion Cards
2-Page Readers Theater Introduction
Ballads Using Summarizing Skills (Melody included in the unit)
Chapters 1-2: Vocabulary, Prediction Chapter Questions, Quick Write
Multiple Choice Comprehension, Chapters 1 and 2
Chapters 3-5: Vocabulary, Prediction Chapter Questions, Quick Write
Words to Pictures, Visualizing the Story
Use the Clues: Inferencing Evaluation Chapters 3-5
Chapters 6-8: Vocabulary, Prediction Chapter Questions, Quick Write
Multiple Choice Comprehension, Chapters 6-8
Chapters 9-11: Vocabulary, Prediction Chapter Questions, Quick Write
Talk About the Problem, a Discussion Guide
Words to Pictures, Visualizing the Story, Chapters 9-11
Discussing Dogs and Papa, Short Answers, Chapters 9-11
Chapters 12-14: Vocabulary, Prediction Chapter Questions, Quick Write
Chapter 12: What's an Analogy?
Multiple Choice Comprehension, Chapters 12-14
Chapters 15-17: Vocabulary, Prediction Chapter Questions, Quick Write
Words to Pictures, Visualizing the Story, Chapters 15-17
Words to Pictures, Chapters 15-17
Chapters 18-20: Vocabulary, Prediction Chapter Questions, Quick Write
Logic Puzzle: Lula's Outfits
Writing: Changing Points of View
Comparing and Contrasting Books
Writing: Editing a Letter
My Letter to an Author
An Interactive Jeopardy-type game in PowerPoint.
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