Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

All readers must stop and eat or cook, in order to be able to eat! Obviously, author Kate DiCamillo understands this as well-her references to soup in The Tale of Despereaux are one of the reasons I love the book so much. Saturday night I had to put down my copy of The Magician's Elephant-I'm only one chapter away from finishing-to make dinner so we could eat before going to a play. I had a recipe from my Veg. Times I knew I was making but I also had a very large eggplant staring at me. I googled a recipe and came up with Eggplant Fries! Recipe from VT-Chickpea Croquettes-and they were yummy!! Dinner was delicious and we made it to both plays on time! Right before the play I had an extra 20 minutes and I was w/out children, which left me with quiet time to read the last chapter.
It was so worth it!!!

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo (September, 2009) is a beautiful, sweeping novel for all readers and it's only 201 pages long.

It begins...

At the end of the century before last, in the market square of the city of Baltese, there stood a boy with a hat on his head and a coin in his hand. The boy's name was Peter Augustus Duchene, and the coin that he held did not belong to him but was instead the property of his guardian, an old soldier named Vilna Lutz, who had sent the boy to the market for fish and bread.

Peter, in a rash moment, decides to use the money for a fortune teller, who tells him his sister is alive and if he follows the elephant, he will find Adele. How is Peter supposed to find an elephant in Baltese? His need to locate his sister is so great he listens to his heart. Little does he know forces have been set into motion and a magician trying to do achieve something amazing utters a spell unlike any he has ever uttered and an elephant appears. Piece by piece everyone finds just what they need.

Like Desperaux, this book threads together several characters to create one finale. Peter shows us all that if you listen to your heart and your dreams, good things will follow. I love DiCamillo's style of writing and this book proves her skill once again. I really love the names her characters are given...I'm sure they just come to her! Peter's name is beautiful while Vilna Lutz just doesn't sound like someone you want to hang around. If you haven't read any of her books start at the beginning with Because of Winn-Dixie, a great book as well as a great movie-not easy to find that combination.
If you want to read synopsis of The Magician's elephant click here.
Read another great review here at Stainless Steel Droppings.


Clara Gillow Clark, author said...

I just finished reading, The Magician's Elephant" yesterday. I loved the character of Leo Matienne who questions the world, and page 144 was the most moving for me when Leo's wife, Gloria, grabs the orphan boy, Peter, pulls him close, envelopes him in "the smell of mutton stew and starch and green grass."
"Oh to be held," [Peter thinks.] He had forgotten entirely what it meant." So beautiful. How much children need that--to be held in loving arms. Thank you, Michelle, for sharing this book with your readers.

Peaceful Reader said...

I love that particular part as well!! Thank you for your comment!

Belle said...

The Magician's Elephant is on my wish list, and now I want to read it even more! Thanks for the links to the recipes. My daughter's vegetarian, and we're always on the lookout for yummy recipes. Those eggplant fries sound amazing - it's a good thing the site doesn't have a picture or I'd be in trouble!

Peaceful Reader said...

The fries were amazing-my husband and I ate them up! Thank you for commenting!

Carl V. Anderson said...

I am so glad that you enjoyed it so much. It really is a wonderful book and one that proves that DiCamillo just gets better and better and better.