Thursday, May 6, 2010
The Magician's Elephant - Kate DiCamillo
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.
Despite the simple prose, the concepts and entire story line of the book were much deeper and more complicated than in a mere children's book. I found it moving and introspective - aspects you don't usually see in a children's book.
A very good read (despite the fact that I am almost ten years older than the targeted age group). A deep read for a children's book.
Older children. It's also a good book for parents to read to their children - simple enough for children to enjoy, but complex enough that it doesn't become mind numbingly boring for parents.