Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review: The Magician's Elephant - Kate DiCamillo

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
Genre: Middle Grade, whimsy
Published on September 8, 2009
Published by Candlewick Press
Pages: 201
Read From: 2.11.12 - 2.12.12

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 of a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that Peter can hardly dare to believe it. But it is - all of it - true.


This is one of those fantastical stories that makes one feel as if they are in a dream, and a child once more. It's a simple enough tale, and a rather strange one, and doesn't necessarily have a specific plot. But it's enjoyable nonetheless; a quiet read, ideal for a cold night curled up in a chair or in bed. I don't usually go for "feel good" stories, but this one was flavored with enough humor, the time period was perfect, and the dreamlike quality enticing enough to make me love it. And considering how short the book is, I become remarkably attached to the characters in that small span of time. It isn't as dark as The Tale of Despereaux, but it is every bit as good, if not better. And while the ending was very happy (I also don't go for happy endings), it was a satisfying and fitting happy ending that, even for a cynic like me, worked.

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