Book Review: The Magician’s Elephant by Kate Dicamillo #BookReview #ChildrensBooks

The Magician’s Elephant

By Kate DiCamillo

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My thoughts on this book:

The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo is a mysterious and magical story about a boy named Peter who has been orphaned, and the unlikely appearance of an elephant who helps him find his way.

The story takes place in the city of Baltese, which is filled with people of different classes. It’s a cold and very dark winter with minimal sunshine. Peter currently lives with his guardian–a soldier named Vilna who fought in war alongside Peter’s father. Sadly, Peter’s mother died just after the birth of his baby sister. Even though Peter has been told that his sister also died at birth, he has a subtle remembrance of her crying and feels that she may still be alive.

One day, after being sent to the marketplace to purchase food, Peter discovers a fortuneteller. He asks the fortuneteller of his sister, and indeed, he’s told that she lives.

“You must follow the elephant,” said the fortune teller. “She will lead you there.”

Peter is shocked, excited, and also confused. Could this really be true? Why has he been lied to all these years? Peter knows he must find the elephant and attempt to locate his sister, but he can’t do it alone.

I really enjoyed the way the characters were written in this story; there’s enough left open to let the reader imagine. When I first started reading this with my kids, we were all reading intently, but without a whole lot of amusement my kids became disinterested. We still wanted to disvover what would happen with Peter and the other characters, but the story fell a little flat for us. Don’t get me wrong, the book is written well and it’s beautiful at times with themes of love, forgiveness, and most of all, hope.

“Looking out over the city, Peter decided that it was a terrible and complicated thing to hope, and that it might be easier, instead, to despair.”

I did love the ending (although predictable) with how each of the characters were impacted by the elephant and essentially changed. It had a nice conclusion. We also loved the illustrations. This was an enjoyable read that I’ll still recommend.

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Book Review: The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo #BookReview #ChildrensBooks

The Tale of Despereaux

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by Kate DiCamillo

Illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering

From Goodreads:

A brave mouse, a covetous rat, a wishful serving girl, and a princess named Pea come together in Kate DiCamillo’s Newbery Medal–winning tale.

Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out. Continue reading “Book Review: The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo #BookReview #ChildrensBooks”

Book Review: Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo #KateDiCamillo #ChildrensBooks #ChildrensLiterature #BookReview

Louisiana’s Way Home

by Kate DiCamillo

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From Goodreads:

From two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo comes a story of discovering who you are — and deciding who you want to be.

When Louisiana Elefante’s granny wakes her up in the middle of the night to tell her that the day of reckoning has arrived and they have to leave home immediately, Louisiana isn’t overly worried. After all, Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas. But this time, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return. Separated from her best friends, Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana struggles to oppose the winds of fate (and Granny) and find a way home. But as Louisiana’s life becomes entwined with the lives of the people of a small Georgia town — including a surly motel owner, a walrus-like minister, and a mysterious boy with a crow on his shoulder — she starts to worry that she is destined only for good-byes. (Which could be due to the curse on Louisiana’s and Granny’s heads. But that is a story for another time.)

Called “one of DiCamillo’s most singular and arresting creations” by The New York Times Book Review, the heartbreakingly irresistible Louisiana Elefante was introduced to readers in Raymie Nightingale — and now, with humor and tenderness, Kate DiCamillo returns to tell her story.

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Book Review: The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo #BookReview #KateDiCamillo

The Tiger Rising

by Kate DiCamillo

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From Goodreads:

The National Book Award finalist from the best-selling author of BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE – now in paperback 

Walking through the misty Florida woods one morning, twelve-year-old Rob Horton is stunned to encounter a tiger – a real-life, very large tiger – pacing back and forth in a cage. What’s more, on the same extraordinary day, he meets Sistine Bailey, a girl who shows her feelings as readily as Rob hides his. As they learn to trust each other, and ultimately, to be friends, Rob and Sistine prove that some things – like memories, and heartaches, and tigers – can’t be locked up forever. Continue reading “Book Review: The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo #BookReview #KateDiCamillo”