1. A Reading Sample? – While reading a sample chapter is always a safe, sound, dependable assembly idea, I believe a reading sample probably won’t work as well w/ The Mysterious Journey of Edward Tulane as w/ some other books. The first chapter may not be as enticing as many first chapters and I believe reading just about any other chapter out of sequence would be either too incomprehensible or give away too much.
2. “Meet Edward Tulane” – Edward is cared for by a series of different owners. Abilene. The fisherman and his wife. The hobo and his dog. His time as a scarecrow. The boy, Bryce and his sister. And the doll repairer. In each case he receives a different name – Edward Tulane; Susanna; Malone; Clyde; Jangles; …
– For a skit, it might be fun for each of these characters (or people dressed up as these characters) to arrive on stage, introduce themselves, not say too much about themselves, and then assert something along the lines of, “This is my rabbit, and his name is Edward.” Or, as the case may be, “This is my rabbit, and his name is Jangles.”
4. Edward in Memphis – If you could find someone who knew how to play harmonica and/or someone who could manipulate a marionette – you could play w/ the Bryce period in the book (when the boy/Bryce and Edward/Jangles are panhandling). One idea: Have two people come out on stage. One manipulates a marionette dancing. The other plays 3 songs on the harmonica – each of which have some sort of plaintive, asking for help or alms quality to them. Maybe the person operating the marionette could even sing or say or rap some lyrics hinting at desire and assistance w/out being too specific about Edward and his odyssey. They could be carefully chosen songs which ape the emotions in the book. (E.g. “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” – which many kids may know from the Lion King.)