Thursday, February 4, 2016
The Magician's Elephant (Laura)
This book combines my favorite elements of family reunited, new family joined, and characters that make me want to stay with them until they come out the other side of the tunnel. In the world DiCamillo created, everyone matters and is connected. A magician out to prove himself, a policeman who believes people can change the world by questioning it, a stonecutter who can no longer carve, an orphan longing for someone to come from her. A beggar who sings good news, and his blind dog who delivers messages with all of his heart. A homesick elephant. And the brokenhearted boy who recognizes her and can't help but fight his despair to instead hope the dangerous hope that, somewhere, there is magic to send her home.
DiCamillo brings the world of Baltese to life in tiny flicks of language and images, with lamplighters and gargoyles, cathedral clocks and opera houses, fishmongers and fortunetellers. Throw in touching artwork by Yoko Tanaka; memorable names like Apartments Polonaise, Leo Matienne, and Madam Bettine LaVaughn; and language that gently exposes hidden aches from the heart to stretch them across a beautiful, dreary world where dreams come true, love endures, and stars and planets shine through the darkness. All in a puzzle of unique and interconnected characters who, despite the odds of reality against them, decide to believe.
What is it about books with magic that reaches inside of us to the places we didn't see before, helps us relate, and makes us want to believe? Do you think magic is real, that impossible things come true?
The Magician's Elephant: http://www.katecamillo.com/books/magic.html