Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Book Review: The Magician's Elephant, by Kate DiCamillo

I hope that your holiday weekend was wonderful and relaxing, or at least busy with things you wanted to be doing!

I was busy, but happily. One of the things I did over the weekend was read The Magician's Elephant, by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Yoko Tanaka.

I loved this book. It is the story of an orphaned boy who lives with a soldier who fought beside his father. The boy is told by a fortuneteller that his sister lives, and in order to find her, he must follow the elephant. That same night, a magician conjurs an elephant, which falls right through the ceiling of the theater he is performing in.

The Magician's Elephant is a story about magic, and what is possible when you believe. Kate DiCamillo does not need flowery language; her writing is beautiful without pretension. The voice she uses throughout the book is simple, funny, and touching, and she does it all deftly. Yoko Tanaka's illustrations are perfect for the story. All of the illustrations are in black and white, and they capture the magical tone of the story. This story has had me asking, What if? Why not? Could it be? ever since I put it down.

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