Monday, July 25, 2011
The Magician's Elephant
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.
I read this back to back with Water for Elephants because I figured if I was going to read a book with "Elephant" in the title, I may as well read two. :D And let me just say, that this book is infinitely the superior.
Tiger Rising was a little disappointing, but The Magician's Elephant has that same Kate DiCamillo style that I loved so much in The Tale of Despereaux. Simple and beautiful and a masterful weaving together of multiple plot elements and characters. This book is very short too, and I think that children will love it. I've added it to my list of books to buy for my home library. I thought it was brilliant, though still not quite as good as Despereaux. Her writer's voice is similar, but without directly addressing her audience, which is what I think is so fun about Despereaux.