Saturday, November 1, 2008

175 - The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane; Kate DiCamillo

I was captivated by this gem of a book as I browsed the bookstore. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, is of course intended for children ages 4-8, but I cannot recommend it highly enough. Just over 225 pages, with large type and plenty of blank space on the pages, the story, and gorgeous illustrations are not to be missed.

Edward Tulane is a vain, self-absorbed three-foot-tall china rabbit from France who appears to have all he could want: fabulous clothes, a tiny gold pocket watch and a little girl, Abilene, who loves him. Then it all vanishes. When the family goes off on an ocean voyage trouble begins. He too falls from grace and ends up in the water. He experiences his first emotion fear.

His emotional journey through life encompasses several transformations as several owners adopt him. When a fisherman saves him from the sea, his wife calls him Susanna and puts a dress on him. But their nasty grown daughter tosses him in the trash. A hobo, retrieves Edward from the garbage dump and names him Malone. Then he loses him. A crabby old woman uses him as a scarecrow in her cornfield until Bryce, an abused boy, rescues Edward for his poor little sister, Sarah Ruth. She christens him Jangles, and Bryce strings up the toy like a marionette to dance for money. Finally in a doll shop sitting on a shelf for over a year, Edward is unexpectedly discovered by someone who has always loved him.

This story was so satisfying and does have a happy ending, however, parents of very young children should be aware that there are some sensitive issues addressed in this book: poverty, homelessness, even death.

RATING - 5/5 - COMPLETED - 11/1/08

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