Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review - "The Magician's Elephant"

The Magician's ElephantThe Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a highly awaited new novel, Kate DiCamillo conjures a haunting fable about trusting the unexpected — and making the extraordinary come true.

What if? Why not? Could it be?

When a fortuneteller's tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchene knows the questions that he needs to ask: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her? The fortuneteller's mysterious answer (an elephant! An elephant will lead him there!) sets off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that you will hardly dare to believe it’s true. With atmospheric illustrations by fine artist Yoko Tanaka, here is a dreamlike and captivating tale that could only be narrated by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo. In this timeless fable, she evokes the largest of themes — hope and belonging, desire and compassion — with the lightness of a magician’s touch.
  Description from GoodReads.

Before reading this book ask yourself the question "what if"? 

A young orphan boy uses his master's money "unwisely" by compulsively visiting a fortune teller. She tells him the impossible, his younger sister is alive and that he needs to follow the elephant to find her. Unfortunately, there are no elephants in the region of the world that he lives in.

The impossible happens. A magician performing a trick mistakenly uses more magic than he ever has and an elephant falls from the ceiling, falling upon a hapless victim.

An orphan girl dreams of an elephant who will come knocking at the door of the orphanage and take her home.

An older couple without children despair and try to be happy with their circumstances.

What if? What if miracles happen and love, redemption, and forgiveness can be found?

This is a beautiful story.  I enjoy the way that Ms. DiCamillo writes.  Her books are inspirational and fun.  They teach you to dream and reach for something beyond yourself.  Yes, even the Mercy Watson books. (What if a pig can catch the crook and save the day?) This story will leave you with a peaceful feeling and the realization of the power of dreams.

Yes!  Another book from my Book Bucket reading list.  Slowly, but surely I'm whittling down the list.  Only 47 more to go!  (Can I hang my head and cry now?)  What if?  Maybe I can find redemption and actually make it through the list.  This is one of the times I have to ask myself " what was I thinking?"

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, The Magician's Elephant makes me so happy.

    In college, I took a Children's Lit. course, and the professor read to us aloud Because of Winn Dixie-- just like teachers used to do in elementary school. It was great. But, more importantly, I was introduced to Kate DiCamillo.

    After Because of Winn Dixie was finished, I immediately went out and purchased The Magician's Elephant and I loved it even more! It was just a beautiful story, so wonderfully written.


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