Clare Cannon's Reviews > The Magician's Elephant

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
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's review
Apr 29, 10

bookshelves: 08-12yrs
Read in December, 2009

Kate DiCamillo’s newest novel is characteristically charming. A glowing fable with wonderfully human characters, it has a most original plot that shines with just a hint of magic.

Young Peter Augustus Duchene is an orphan. He lives in the cold and dreary house of an old soldier who fought alongside his father, and who is determined that Peter should follow in his footsteps.

Other characters are also sad: a magician regrets a terrible mistake, a married couple resign themselves to not having children, and a young girl in an orphanage dreams of an elephant that will come to rescue her.

But Peter’s secret hope that his sister still lives leads to events that transform the lives of everyone around him. While they are still swallowed up in their worlds of sadness, he helps them to hope ‘What if? Why not? Could it be?’

DiCamillo creates truly magical moments where tenderness and understanding turns shared sadness into joy. The good characters make your heart sing: cold and darkness soften in their presence and even the baddies are transformed in their glow.

This is a story to be read aloud or on one’s own. Just remember that Kate DiCamillo writes with lots of heart... best keep a tissue handy.
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