Sunday, September 20, 2009

Review #11: The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

I had the pleasure this afternoon to see Kate DiCamillo speak at a beautiful theater in the city I live in. During the fall, my city hosts what is called Talking Volumes, a partnership between Minnesota Public Radio and The Loft Literary Center. They basically host really cool author signings every month in an absolutely stunning setting.

She was amazing. Funny, down to earth, quirky and gracious. I was one of the few members of the audience who had actually finished this book so I really enjoyed her reading and speaking about the characters.

This book is for young readers, ages 8-12. It is a story of a young boy, Peter, who is told by a fortune teller that his sister still lives after being told by his guardian that she died. The fortune teller then tells him to watch for an elephant, the elephant will bring him to his sister. Meanwhile, you find an elephant crashing through the ceiling of the opera house during a magic show. This was all a mistake but still causes damage and an injury so the poor elephant is sent to prison. What happens after these two events is the story, the coming together of two fates.

It is a beautifully written, simple story, like all of her books. She always has a character who you want to win, who you see in yourself. I would have to call her books modern classics. Every child should read her. And they come so wonderfully illustrated, rich with imagination.

Her other titles I would recommend are The Tale of Desperaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Because of Winn Dixie, and the Mercy Watson series.

If you haven't discovered her, do so now. If you love a simple, stunning read, pick her up. Or if you have a young reader in the house, check her out.

My rating for this title and all of her titles would be a High 5!

Happy Reading!

* red headed book child


Lisa said...

My kids have outgrown DiCamillo, but we loved Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Desperaux.

Krista said...

I was thinking about picking this one up the other day, but alas, I didn't! I will next time, though! Great review!