When I saw that Kate DiCamillo had a new children’s book coming out, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I absolutely adored The Tale of Despereaux and I was getting that same vibe from The Magician’s Elephant, just from looking at that delightful cover. I bought it about a week before the readathon, but I couldn’t wait. I read it the next day. And, as I figured I would, I loved it.
When ten-year-old Peter Augustus Duchene is sent to the market for fish and bread, he spends it at the fortuneteller’s tent instead. He is seeking his long-lost sister, and he is told
“You must follow the elephant. She will lead you there.”
Understandably, he is confused and heartbroken, because he doesn’t know what that means and thinks his search is over before it really began. But that very night, at the Bliffenendorf Opera House, a magician’s spell goes haywire and, instead of conjuring what he meant to conjure, he conjures an elephant. The elephant falls through the ceiling and lands on the lap of a very distraught Madam Bettine LaVaughn.
The landing of the elephant in Madam Bettine LaVaughn’s lap sets off a magical novel about hope and loss, love and heartbreak, home and loneliness, and the desire to find out the truth for oneself instead of believing what others want you to believe. The gorgeous illustrations by Yoko Tanaka make this dreamlike tale come alive. It is yet another timeless fable from the incomparable Kate DiCamillo, one that begs to be read aloud to your children, or just to entertain yourself. Young and old can appreciate this tale of love, hope, and longing, written by that magician herself.
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I bought this book for myself.