Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

I have loved elephants for as long as I can remember. My mom use to read Babar the Elephant stories to me as a toddler and I loved the Babar series. I use to ask her to read these books to me repeatedly as a youngster... Not that I can remember any of this now.

I was also a fan of the Disney movie Dumbo as a child and slept with a stuffed Dumbo that my parents had bought from Disneyland before I was even born.  
Needless to say I love elephants. Earlier this year, I came across a used copy of The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Yoko Tanaka. It's a children's book, but I bought it as I was intrigued by the title and the storyline... And, of course, I couldn't pass up a story about an elephant! So in an effort to channel my inner child, I read The Magician's Elephant.

After I finished reading The Magician's Elephant, I was kind of feeling so-so about it. I actually have mixed feelings about this novel. For the most part The Magician's Elephant is going to be a forgettable read for me... It's a quick read, with some finer points to it that make it a sweet read. But overall, I wouldn't go recommending this novel to others. My favorite lines from The Magician's Elephant are the the questions "What if? Why not? Could it be?" that are sprinkled throughout this novel. I took the questions to mean that a person should be open to the possibility that some sort of miracle or something magical might happen if only we were open to it happening in the first place.

The following is a summary for The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo from Goodreads:
In a highly awaited new novel, Kate DiCamillo conjures a haunting fable about trusting the unexpected — and making the extraordinary come true. 
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'm giving The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

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