Share this magical book with your children and try some of our related teaching ideas and classroom activities!
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Look at the front cover of the book and discuss what it might be about. Who is Leon? Where is ‘The Place Between’. Are there any clues in the illustrations? What does ‘Let the magic begin…’ mean?
- Use a ‘place between’ in a story of your own. Where could your story’s ‘place between’ be? Where is it between? What is it like? What happens there?
- Look at the illustrations on the first page. How would you describe the show tent? How might Leon be feeling about going inside?
- Write a set of instructions to teach somebody how to perform a magic trick.
- Retell the story from Leon’s point of view.
- Write a newspaper article about the boy who disappeared during a magic trick in the show tent.
- Create an advert to encourage people to buy tickets for the show.
- Make a list of interesting vocabulary the author has used (e.g. beckoned, mechanical, pounding, solemn). Can you think of definitions for these? Could you use some of them in your own writing?
- Use the line “Now it’s going to happen” as the first line in your own story.
- Pause the story at the point when Leon is about to enter the box. Should he go in? Make a list of ‘for’ and ‘against’ arguments.
- Imagine that Leon went through one of the ‘doorways to Somewhere Else’. Write a story that describes what happened to him next.
- Who is the boy in the Place Between? Write a character profile for him.
- Write a sentence or paragraph to describe the Place Between. What things does Leon see there?
- Look at the use of different fonts and font sizes in the story. Could you use a similar effect to publish a story of your own using a word processor or publishing software?
- Create a website to promote the show.
- Make a new page for the story using pop-up techniques. Could the jugglers ‘leap’ out of the book or could Leon come out of the box when you open the page?
- Create a model of the show tent or of the mechanical toys.
- This book features a ‘hole’ in the pages when Leon enters and exits the box. Can you use a similar technique in your own book or drawings?
- Create a set of posters and flyers to promote Abdul Kazam’s amazing magic show.
- How do the illustrations in this book compare with those in other picture books? Which do you prefer? Why?
- Look at the illustrations of the show tent before and after the show. How do they compare? Can you create two pictures of a place before and after an event takes place?
- Watch this video showing how the illustrator created the images for the book. Could you use similar techniques to create images for your own story (or for a popular children’s book)?
- Compose a melody to accompany the juggling act in the show.
- Look at the expressions of the characters in the illustrations. How are they feeling? How do you know?
- Abdul Kazam says, ‘Trust Nothing… but believe everything.’ What does it mean to trust somebody or something? How can we help others to trust us?