Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kate DiCamillo's "The Magician's Elephant"

First, I apologize for the lack of a picture but my computer is winning today and insists it doesn't feel up to adding one! I'm about to kick it out! I'm diffusing now....

Who out there has eaten way too much of their kids' Halloween candy? I'm having diabetic moments and still feel the need to "help" my kids out by savoring their treats. Plus, we have a lot left over from our own supply since the rainy night made for a small crowd. I hope my daughter doesn't miss that Butterfinger(ssss)!

But, I did finish a great read recently. Kate DiCamillo's The Magician's Elephant. How does she do it? Her writing is so, and I don't use this word lightly, profound! Her characters have similar feelings we all have and yet they are not typical. She doesn't draw them by giving us a lot of detail and yet, we know them. This is such a deep talent that it sometimes brings my own writing to a halt. How can I do that? Well, we'll save the self ridicule for another blog.

Here's the review I wrote for a new writing gig I took on The Examiner. which, by the way, I don't think I'll be doing since they can't get the technical gliche I have to go away.

The True Magic in The Elephant’s Magician

Kate DiCamillo, author of the novels The Tale of Despereaux, Because of Winn-Dixie, Tiger Rising, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane as well as the easy reader stories of Mercy Watson, has once again provided her readers with a story full of enchanted verses, beautifully drawn characters and mystic longing.

From the first chapter, the reader is captured and taken on a journey through the main character’s search for his sister. Peter is an orphan who believes his sister to be alive when his fortune is told. The fortuneteller instructs him to follow the elephant to her. And, so the story begins.

DiCamillo melds action, description and character like a master weaver. As in her many other tales, we want to ingest the entire story in one helping. This is not a book to be read in bits and pieces but devoured. So strong is the need to see Peter through his journey that many a reader will not put the book down until the final words conclude Peter’s adventure.

As we have seen with Despereaux and Because of Winn Dixie, a motion picture version of this soon to be classic DiCamillo story will most likely be coming in the near future. Better to find the story in the flesh of the pages first. You can always munch on popcorn and Twizzlers while you read.

Happy sugar rush to you all!


  1. I've heard about that book. I must read it. And, yes, my kid's cancy seems to be dwindling at a fast pace. I'll never admit that it's because of me, though.

  2. Oh I'm so glad you thought it was as spectacular as I did! She is amazing, isn't she? Don't feel too guilty about the candy...I just stole two Reeses from my daughter's stash about an hour ago.

  3. Nice review. Yes I am too in candy overload-- and I don't even have any kids...LOL I just organize a huge Halloween event at the mall here. Crazy, and lots of candy is left over (we do that on purpose in the office)

    Hmmm. Now I want some candy.