Friday, October 2, 2009

The Magician's Elephant By, Kate DiCamillo

I really like Kate DiCamillo's books. If you do too, I recommend this book. Her stories and characters are quirky and a bit strange. This one reminded me more of Edward Tulane and Desperaux than Winn Dixie. It seemed to me like a book I would assume had been written in a different country.

I love the poetic way she writes. Here's the opening sentence,
"At the end of the century before last, in the market square of the city of Baltese, there stood a boy with a hat on his head and a coin in his hand."
Isn't that pretty?

I do love the mis-match characters and how they recognize the good in each other and help each other. DiCamillo describes one of the characters as having "the soul of a poet." I like that.

Another great quote from a kind nun, "All of God's creatures have names, every last one of them. Of that I am sure; of that I have no doubt at all."

And, stay with me here, the elephant, while in captivity, "was saying her name to herself." Why? Because, "It was the name that her mother had given to her and that she had spoken to her often and with love."

There is a dark sadness in the book, but the end is happy. My favorite kind of ending. The characters take leaps of faith. The faith is in the magic, but I'm OK with that because it is such a sweet magical story.

I read this one early because I was the recipient of a generous Barnes and Noble gift card. If you live around here you can borrow my copy.


The GruCru said...

I'm so glad you liked it-I've been wanting to read it, but now w/ a good review I'm ready to go

Betsy said...

I'm a huge Kate DiCamillo fan and am so glad to see a good review of this book. I can't wait to pick it up. She is such a great writer!! Thanks Kammy!