Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo , Bagram Ibatoulline (Illustrator

Overview from Barnes and Nobel:
Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. . . .

Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we are shown a miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.

My thoughts:
I had never read this book before, but I am familiar with Kate DiCamillo, so I picked this up on audio last week.  Yesterday we finished listening to this story.  At first when Edward was described as a china rabbit I had this picture in my mind of a rabbit like a blue and white china tea pot, I don't know why, and that stuck with me for a while even though it totally didn't make sense.  I should have asked my children how they pictured him since the idea of a china doll is even more unusual for them than it should have been for me!

Edward belongs to a little girl who loves him, but he just takes her for granted and is more concerned with his own vanity than her feelings.  The night before going on a long sea voyage Ablene's grandmother tells a tale of a princess who was unable to feel love and how it became her downfall.  Edward brushes off this tale.  On the second day of the voyage two little boys end up throwing Edward overboard and he spends almost a year on the bottom of the ocean.  Then a fisherman finds him and he has a home again, until he ends up in the dump, then with a hobo, then as a scarecrow, with a sick and dying little girl and finally in a doll shop.  Each new situation brings the chance for Edward to grow and change and to learn a little something about love and loss. 

The idea of a toy having feelings is such a good way for children to explore emotions without too much stress.  At the beginning I was wondering if it would be like the Velveteen rabbit, if Edward would get to become a real rabbit, but I was very satisfied with how it was resolved and, while I saw what was coming at the end, my children were nicely surprised by the outcome. 

This was a really nice story to listen to on audio.  It was interesting enough to hold my children's attention and not too long that it felt like we were listening to the same thing forever.

•Pub. Date: February 2006
•Publisher: Listening Library, Inc.
•Format: Compact Disc
•Age Range: 9 to 12
•ISBN-13: 9780307245953
•ISBN: 0307245950

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