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The Magician's Elephant

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Kate DiCamillo conjures a haunting fable about trusting the unexpected and making the extraordinary come true.

What if? Why not? Could it be?

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 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 off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that you will hardly dare to believe it’s true. With atmospheric illustrations by fine artist Yoko Tanaka, here is a dreamlike and captivating tale that could only be narrated by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo. In this timeless fable, she evokes the largest of themes — hope and belonging, desire and compassion — with the lightness of a magician’s touch.

201 pages, Hardcover

First published September 8, 2009

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About the author

Kate DiCamillo

110 books9,010 followers
Kate DiCamillo, the newly named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2014–2015, says about stories, “When we read together, we connect. Together, we see the world. Together, we see one another.” Born in Philadelphia, the author lives in Minneapolis, where she faithfully writes two pages a day, five days a week.

Kate DiCamillo's own journey is something of a dream come true. After moving to Minnesota from Florida in her twenties, homesickness and a bitter winter helped inspire Because of Winn-Dixie - her first published novel, which, remarkably, became a runaway bestseller and snapped up a Newbery Honor. "After the Newbery committee called me, I spent the whole day walking into walls," she says. "I was stunned. And very, very happy."

Her second novel, The Tiger Rising, went on to become a National Book Award Finalist. Since then, the master storyteller has written for a wide range of ages, including two comical early-chapter-book series - Mercy Watson, which stars a "porcine wonder" with an obsession for buttered toast, and Bink & Gollie, which celebrates the tall and short of a marvelous friendship - as well as a luminous holiday picture book, Great Joy.

Her latest novel, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, won the 2014 Newbery Medal. It was released in fall 2013 to great acclaim, including five starred reviews, and was an instant New York Times bestseller. Flora & Ulysses is a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting new format - a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black and white by up-and-coming artist K. G. Campbell. It was a 2013 Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner and was chosen by Amazon, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Common Sense Media as a Best Book of the Year.

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5 stars
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,614 reviews
Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,014 reviews97 followers
February 26, 2019
The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo is a mysterious and magical story about a boy named Peter who has been orphaned, and the unlikely appearance of an elephant who helps him find his way.

The story takes place in the city of Baltese, which is filled with people of different classes. It's a cold and very dark winter with minimal sunshine. Peter currently lives with his guardian--a soldier named Vilna who fought in war alongside Peter's father. Sadly, Peter's mother died just after the birth of his baby sister. Even though Peter has been told that his sister also died at birth, he has a subtle remembrance of her crying and feels that she may still be alive. One day, after being sent to the marketplace to purchase food, Peter discovers a fortuneteller. He asks the fortuneteller of his sister, and indeed, he's told that she lives.

"You must follow the elephant," said the fortune teller. "She will lead you there."

Peter is shocked, excited, and also confused. Could this really be true? Why has he been lied to all these years? Peter knows he must find the elephant and attempt to locate his sister, but he can't do it alone.

I really enjoyed the way the characters were written in this story; there's enough left open to let the reader imagine. When I first started reading this with my kids, we were all reading intently, but without a whole lot of amusement my kids became disinterested. We still wanted to find out what would happen with Peter and the other characters, but the story fell a little flat for us. Don't get me wrong, the book is written well and it's beautiful at times with themes of love, forgiveness, and most of all: hope.

"Looking out over the city, Peter decided that it was a terrible and complicated thing to hope, and that it might be easier, instead, to despair."

I did love the ending (although predictable) with how each of the characters were impacted by the elephant and essentially changed. It had a nice conclusion. We also loved the illustrations. This was an enjoyable read that I'll still recommend.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Tamara.
1,414 reviews556 followers
September 28, 2010
This book was like eating crème brûlée, with the satisfaction of breaking the burnt sugar spine to eat the warm and sweet center. It would be perfect to have it read aloud while you fall asleep to falling snow.

Favorite Quote:

Magic is always impossible...It begins with the impossible and ends with the impossible and is impossible in between. That is why it is magic.

It is a bad thing to have love and nowhere to put it.

He had been so lonely, so desperately, hopelessly lonely for so long. He might very well spend the rest of his life in prison, alone. And he understood that what he wanted now was something much simpler, much more complicated than the magic he had performed. What he wanted was to turn to somebody and take hold of their hand and look up with them and marvel at the snow falling from the sky. “This,” he wanted to say to someone he loved and who loved him in return. “This.”

The undoing is almost always more difficult than the doing.
Profile Image for Debbie W..
724 reviews487 followers
April 22, 2022
Why I chose to read this book:
1. I've read a couple of books by Kate DiCamillo and loved The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane; and,
2. it goes well with my self-proclaimed "Fantasy and Science Fiction Month"!


1. From Peter, Adele, the magician ... even the elephant, there is depth to all of the characters. Beginning with orphaned Peter's request of a fortuneteller wondering if his sister is alive, and if so, what are her whereabouts, I could feel everyone's hopes and dreams, their need to belong and to forgive;
2. an atmospheric sense is felt in both the story and illustrations; and,
3. initially, the message appears to be "what is done is difficult to undo" but develops into "the impossible becomes possible".

As a substitute teacher, it would be difficult for me to read this entire chapter book to a group of students, so I'm not sure how young children would react to this book. A good portion of the text and illustrations seem dark and gloomy. It isn't until the final chapters where hope, love and magic come alive.

Profile Image for HBalikov.
1,734 reviews649 followers
December 10, 2016
This is my first Kate DiCamillo book and it has made a deep impression on me. The best "children's books" work on an adult level as well. This one is the best I have read in a long while. She writes beautifully, and her characters have more depth than you would expect. The plot falls into place as a small boy squanders his guardian's money on getting his fortune read. When he hears that a elephant will take him to his sister (who he has been told died at birth) he struggles with what is true and what to believe. You with find the characters in the city of Baltese magical and not just the magician, but the stonecutter, the beggar, Sister Marie of the orphange and more. The story is over in 200 pages and that is much too soon.
Profile Image for Stacey.
266 reviews449 followers
July 4, 2017
A charming story of love and hope, The Magician's Elephant was a delightful surprise. I can't recall who recommended it to me, but if I could remember, I'd thank them. I loved the writing, the descriptions, and most of all, the story of a little boy and love. Absolutely wonderful, and just begging to be read aloud to the children in your life.

Now I'm off to read all of DiCamillo's books, to see if I adore them just as much. I haven't read this much children's lit since I was in elementary school. What an unexpected treat!
Profile Image for Linda Hart.
733 reviews138 followers
April 26, 2019
Every fantasy book poses the following questions. Why not? What if? Could it be? and in this book every character is asking the same questions. Kate DiCamillo has the ability to take you on a great adventure where you're not paying attention to anything except what's in the book and again in this book is she does her own special brand of magic. Full of surprises and charming characters, this is a fun story about believing in the impossible and watching it happen right before your eyes. a spellbinding tale of love, longing, hope, finding home and forgiveness in long ago France.

Kate DiCamillo, is the author of the award winning Because of Winn Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, The Tiger Rising, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. The 3 hour audio version narrated by Juliet Stevenson is superb.
Profile Image for Wendy.
951 reviews137 followers
November 20, 2009
Part of me wants to say I loved this book, that it verges on Trumpet of the Swan or Jane Langton territory, and part of me is afraid I've been sucked into the next Jonathan Livingston Seagull or Kahlil Gibran. (I finally put my finger on what this book reminds me of: The Polar Express. And that's perfect, because I can never decide about that book, either.)

I think the prose is very lovely, and I don't always go for lovely prose, but this is funny, too. There's humor and pathos both in the continually repeated lines, like "I intended only lilies".

I have no idea whether I would have liked this as a kid. I have no idea whether kids will like it now. But I like it now. It evokes art to me (that isn't as pretentious as it sounds, or at least I hope it isn't, but I was an art history major and it's how I think): Impressionist in style and setting and mood, and then Italian Renaissance for complicated reasons that have to do with Florence keeping a pet giraffe. And I like anything that makes me think about art.

Newbery? No, people would flip. And I don't think you could really call the development of plot distinguished.
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 31 books5,632 followers
November 30, 2017
An odd little fairy tale about, yes, an elephant. But also love, and truth, and hope. A boy and his sister. A policeman. A countess. A magician. And others who are affected by the elephant's sudden, magical appearance.

Beautifully illustrated in a way that added even more to the hushed quality of the book.
Profile Image for Linden.
311 reviews5 followers
December 9, 2011
I've been a steady fan of DiCamillo's past work but was disappointed with The Magician's Elephant. The story is about a boy, Peter Augustus Duchene, who, on the way to buy fish and bread, spends his guardian's coin on a visit to a fortuneteller. He hears that his sister is not dead as he had believed and that an elephant will help him find her. That evening, at a show in the town opera house, a magician's error causes an elephant to drop from the sky through its roof and inadvertently cripple a woman.

The structure of the story is that of disparate threads that gradually converge and then interweave: the magician, a beggar, a sculptor, the boy, his sister, a nun, and the woman. One of the starred reviews, this from the School Library Journal, for example, declares that "DiCamillo's carefully crafted prose creates an evocative aura of timelessness for a story that is, in fact, timeless." This I've found to be true of her other work, blending elements like a good cook with delicious language and pace.

There were certainly parts I enjoyed in this book. I quite liked DiCamillo's rendering of the society woman who pre-empted ownership of the elephant after its unusual arrival in order to maintain ascendancy in her social circle. She widened the doorway of her house to admit the elephant then allowed people to view it, captive in her house and the viewers in her thrall. This part rang true to me of human nature. However I admit I had been preoccupied all along, fretting about the elephant. Had it been injured in its fall through sky, roof and thence onto the woman who occupied the seat upon which it fell? I envisioned the splintering of beams, broken plaster and worse. Yet no mention of an injury save that of the woman it landed upon. For me, there was something about the lack of information about the elephant except for its terrible unhappiness in the woman's house that made it seem an authorial device, becoming three dimensional only when it served the tale.

In this story, though quite short compared to her other work, I fidgeted (rare for me), trying to urge the story forward. It reminded me of that uncomfortable dream in which a desperate need to run is countered by being able to move with great effort only in slow motion. All in all, it seemed a very thin broth for the number of pages I had to consume.

I look forward to more of her work of the caliber of The Tale of Despereaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, both of which rightly earned their places on our library shelf.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Henry Martin.
Author 90 books145 followers
September 17, 2018
In a typical DiCamillo style, The Magician's Elephant is a complex story disguised as a children's tale, although, compared to Edward Tulane or Tiger Rising, this one is more subtle in its message.

Take a sleepy city (which could be anywhere) with its upper, middle, and poor classes, and make the story come alive. In this case, it all begins with a little orphan boy being raised by a feverish soldier who fought alongside the boy's father. The little boy is being raised to be a soldier, to live on moldy bread and impossible small fishes. The boy's life, it seems, lacks light.

Throw in mysterious fortune teller, with an even more mysterious message, and things begin to change. How? For one, the boy now has hope. Oh, the powerful force that breathes life into dull things. Hope, in a way, is impossible. Equally impossible to bear, and impossible to extinguish. Hope, the main driving force behind DiCamillo's characters I love in every one of her books, is what makes the difference between the status quo and the unexpected.

In the same city, there lives a policeman and his wife, childless, set in their ways. But the policeman also hopes, asking the important, "What if . . ."

And there lives a noblewoman, a powerful woman who wants to be entertained during a magic show. The aging magician, one who has been the laughing stock of the town, is about to perform the last act of his life, when he asks the impossible, "What if . . ."

And in an orphanage, not far away, a little girl dreams of the impossible, and her dream revisits her over and over, until she asks; while a crazy stone-cutter dreams of making one more statue, a beggar sings of the things to come (if only anyone would listen), and another noble woman pulls the strings to become the center of the social season setting the impossible into motion.

In the Magician's Elephant, DiCamillo paints a vivid portrait of lost hopes, crushed dreams, impossible desires, and the consequences of losing one's self. She explores very human drives and desires, social classes, and the unfortunate status quo. But she also shows that nothing is set in stone, and that hope, no matter how ridiculous, makes people do great and selfless things.

Another great book by a very talented author. Highly recommended to read along with young readers (great topics for a discussion) or to read by yourself when you tire of all things adult, and want to escape into a world of wonder.
Profile Image for Selene.
596 reviews134 followers
April 25, 2022
3.5 Stars

I read this with novel with my grade 6 class. I really enjoyed the writing and the plot. Most of my students loved the book. Some said it was their favourite book so far this year others said it was good but we read ones in class this year they liked more. It has the most wide range of ratings my class has given so far this year.
Profile Image for Rosanne Hawke.
Author 50 books88 followers
January 1, 2017
I love Kate DiCamillo's writing and books. So The Magician's Elephant was a treat for me. It has everything that I like in a children's book which is also suitable for adults: mystery, wonder, hope, amazement, imagination, beautiful writing and an enriching story.
Profile Image for Jess.
2,459 reviews68 followers
November 30, 2009
Oh boy, I wanted to like this one. I adored The Tale of Despereaux Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread, I enjoyed Because of Winn-Dixie, I was fascinated with The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (and loved the illustrations), but this left me a little cold. I've been trying to put my finger on it, since this is on this year's OLA Mock Newbery list and I'll have to back up my opinion. I didn't feel that it went deep enough - it stayed on the surface of a potentially interesting story, and that simplicity, which felt intentional, ended up feeling too much like a fable for me. I detest novel-length fables. I want characters, not archetypes. I just skimmed across the surface and thought, "pretty sentence" and waited to be caught up in the story. There were too many characters introduced too quickly and too briefly. This is, perhaps, a matter of taste. I'll have to work on argument before the discussion rolls around in January.
Profile Image for Renee Wallace.
123 reviews6 followers
September 14, 2009
Wow, Reader, if you make up your mind about what to read/purchase/borrow at your library from these reviews, then pay attention to this one! :-)

I keep wondering, with each new book, Can Kate DiCamillo really do it again? Can she possibly make the magic again? And the answer is always a resounding YES.

I do not recall the last time I actually wept while reading a book, but I not only did while reading this one, I even know the page number that brought it about--but you have to weep on your own timetable, not someone else's! :-)

What amazes me is how the author actually includes, among all the magic, all the wonder, the dreams, the hopes, the heartaches, she actually works in there the practical means for dealing with those "dark nights of the soul," which, dreadfully, each young reader will probably face some day. When the hero is at his lowest ebb, she has him look his terrible loss head-on, dead-on; and he faces it, and grows stronger. Also, nearing that dreadful point, he is urged to eat. Such a simple lesson, and yet each child needs to know: if you can get your basic needs met, you can face what must be faced. When in despair, you must take care of the body, in order to take care of the soul.

Best of all, she asks the reader these questions, with this story: Can dreams come true? Can the impossible ever really happen? Can happy endings not only happen, but happen with such deep meaning?

And she manages all of that without soppiness, syrup, goo, or becoming maudlin.

She must believe, as I believe, as children long to believe, that good happens. Prayers are answered. Hope does indeed beat eternal, and for good reason.

I LOVE it. I absolutely love it. Ms. DiCamillo, I salute you.

And P.S. I love Iddo.

Oh, wait! Ms. Tanaka! Your illustrations help make the magic, too. The elephant's eyes! Incredible. All your illustrations, actually, are incredible.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
888 reviews
May 4, 2022
This children's story is about an orphan boy named Peter, a fortune teller, an old soldier, a magician, an elephant and Adele. I read this book because I loved Cate DiCamillo's story The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, which was a five star read for me!
I rated this book 3 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Profile Image for Cassi aka Snow White Haggard.
459 reviews155 followers
August 6, 2011
4.5 stars
Sometimes I miss the sense of childlike wonder that kids have. Last night one of my little cousins was making up a tall-tell about his mother making him pay rent. The fiction just flew from his lips naturally. It's like the realm of make-believe lives right below the surface and kids can jump in anytime without any effort.

Maybe that's why I keep falling for sweet innocent books that remind me of fairytales. Maybe I'm trying to recapture something I've lost along the path to adulthood. Whatever the reason I love books like Goose Girl, Princess Academy and the latest, The Magician's Elephant.

It's such a sweet beautiful little book. The book contains a magic that my normal YA can never capture. It's the magic of being a 10-year-old child where the world is so big and anything is possible.

The Magician's Elephant completely charmed me. The language is whimsical and witty. It manages to be poetic and unobtrusive. It's simply perfect and I can't imagine the book being written any other way. As I read, I kept hearing a gentle lyrical voice (think of the Pushing Daisies narration) reading the story to me. Almost every page had a clever or poetic phrase. Never have I been so grateful for my Kindle highlighting feature and I'm not typically an underliner.

"Looking out over the city, Peter decided that it was a terrible and complicated thing to hope, and that it might be easier, instead to despair."

The book has an usual premise, a little boy named Peter spends his bread money at a fortuneteller because he wants the truth. The truth he gets is wonderful, yet impossible His sister, who his guardian said was stillborn, lives. She lives! We get the sense of joy and responsibility that Peter feels towards his sister immediately. First he needs to find her. The fortuneteller says the elephant will show him the way. But there are no elephants anywhere near where Peter lives so the wonderful beautiful hope he is given seems cruelly impossible.

Lucky for Peter, this is a book that believes in the impossible.

The Magician's Elephant is a hopeful story. I think all ages will appreciate the beautiful poetic language and deceptively simple story. The story manages to capture the wonder of a child and a child's audacity to believe in the impossible.

"What are we to make of a world where stars shine bright in the midst of so much darkness and gloom?"

It's hard to do this book justice. The Magician's Elephant is a bright, shining, audaciously hopeful book. It's a joy to read And I know it'll be a regular re-read. I loved the feeling of reading this book and I know I'll want to experience that again. The book is magic. For a brief few pages it gave me back my childhood, my sense of wonder and reminded the word is a very big, impressive and magical place. And that maybe, just maybe, believing in the impossible is the best way to live.

Currently only $1.99 for Kindle. Don't know how long that deal will last.
Profile Image for Sandra Deaconu.
667 reviews103 followers
February 7, 2022
Mesajul cărții se referă la nevoia fiecăruia de a găsi acel om pe care să îl numească ,,acasă" și, dacă nu-i prea mult, de a avea și un loc în care să se simtă în siguranță alături de acel om. Dar l-am înțeles pentru că sunt adult. În copilărie nu aș fi înțeles mare lucru din cartea asta pentru că este cam bizară. Autoarea a luat elemente care au succes în povești: copii orfani, animale fermecate, magie. Însă nu le-a legat bine, din punctul meu de vedere. Am regăsit candoarea personajelor și emoția transmisă de subiect, pe care le așteptam, dar la un nivel mai superficial decât mă învățase. E o scriitoare bună și chiar recomand să încercați cărțile ei, doar că, dacă începeți cu asta, s-ar putea să nu mai vreți să reveniți la ea. Recenzia aici: https://bit.ly/3uvc0zj.

,,Și orice om, fiecare în parte, avea visuri și speranțe, dorea să se răzbune, dar și să fie iubit.''
Profile Image for evelyn.
203 reviews19 followers
June 14, 2009
i was so excited for this book. kate dicamillo is probably my favorite author writing right now. after my mother and boyfriends, kate dicamillo is probably the person who can most easily make me cry. if you don't bawl like a baby when winn dixie goes missing you probably have no soul. that said, this book was terribly disappointing. it just tried too hard. dicamillo can write a hauntingly brilliant and touching story about a little girl and her dog. she can write a modern fairy tale like no one else. and now she's trying insanely hard to write an allegory that just isn't that compelling. i found no urgency in this book, nothing surprising, nothing really touching. if it had been much longer i probably wouldn't have finished it. sigh.
Profile Image for Joy Lee.
6 reviews2 followers
January 16, 2016
모르는 단어들이 꽤 많았습니다...
단어 정리가 많이 수고롭게 느껴지지는 않았어요...전투책 읽은 페이지 수를 늘여주니..ㅋㅋ
인물 하나하나에 작가가 다 애정을 가지고 다듬어왔다는 걸 느낄 수 있었습니다...
그리고 다 읽고 난후 하나의 큰 메시지��� 마음에 남게 되네요...
나의 꿈을 이루는 것도 눈물나고 소중하시만
나의 꿈의 실현이 불가능하게 될 가능성에 불구하고서라도 다른 이의 꿈을 소중히 여기며
그것이 이루어지도록 돕는 것에 대해서요...
다른 이의 꿈을 먼저 택하는 순간 나의 꿈은 저 멀리 멀어진 것 같은 절망을 느끼게 되겠지만
그 후에 나의 선택에 대해 신이 선물하는 또다른 경이를 보게 되는거 같습니다.
저도 피해의식과 개인주의를 극복하고 다른 이들을 제 삶 가운데 받아들이고 사랑하는 연습을 해 나가야겠다고 생각하게 됩니다...
마음의 온도를 조금 더 높여서 따뜻하게 만들어야 겠다는 생각을 하게 하네요..
Profile Image for Amina.
1,255 reviews265 followers
January 4, 2017
There was magic in this book, but not the usual kind of magic.
It's about the feelings magic: love, hope, compassion, longing, regret, forgiveness and belief.
Profile Image for Diane.
2,028 reviews5 followers
October 8, 2009
The Magician's Elephant is a wonderful whimsical story which includes some fabulous black and white illustrations, by Yoko Tanaka. The illustrations add to the beauty of this story which takes place some 200 years ago.

Peter Augustus Duchene is a ten year old orphan. When his guardian sends him out with one coin to purchase some food in the Baltese market square, he sees a fortune teller's tent, and has something more pressing than food on his mind. Peter was told that his sister was dead, and the question he must ask the fortune teller is----does his sister live, and if so, how can he find her? The fortune teller answers the question by saying "follow the elephant", and tells him that the elephant will lead him there.

When a magician's act goes terribly wrong, and an elephant falls from the ceiling of the opera house, an unbelievable chain of events are set into motion.

The Magician's Elephant is written for middle school aged children. It is a dark, but hopeful tale with a wonderful cast of charming characters. It is a wonderful story that shows us what can happen to those who believe. I am confident this delightful story will reawaken the child inside of most who read it. It is a story that will have you rooting for not only the children, but the elephant and magician as well. I LOVED the author's last book: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and I must say, DiCamillo has written yet another winner, in my opinion. DON'T MISS IT!
Profile Image for Luann.
1,278 reviews116 followers
March 11, 2015
This read almost like an allegory. It is a beautiful story of an elephant, magic, love, light, dreams, snow, and believing that the impossible can happen. I think this would be a beautiful book to read aloud. While reading, I kept finding favorite quotes. Here are three of them:

"Magic is always impossible," said the magician. "It begins with the impossible and ends with the impossible and is impossible in-between. That is why it is magic."

He might very well spend the rest of his life in prison, alone. And he understood that what he wanted now was something much simpler, much more complicated than the magic he had performed. What he wanted was to turn to somebody and take hold of their hand and look up with them and marvel at the snow falling from the sky.

"It is, after all, a wonderful thing to dream of an elephant," she said to Leo," and then to have the dream come true."
Profile Image for Brooke — brooklynnnnereads.
1,004 reviews244 followers
April 1, 2023
3.5 stars
This was a really cute and warmhearted read. Even as an adult I enjoyed this story and for me, it was a quick read but I can imagine it being so for young readers as well.

The writing was descriptive but equally simple laying out the story beautifully.

I loved the combination of storytelling through words along with accompanying illustrations. To be honest, I wish there were more illustrations scattered throughout the story.

I'm really interested in watching the adaptation after reading this book as I can see how this would be a cute and enjoyable movie for the whole family.

***Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***
Profile Image for Mathew.
1,492 reviews170 followers
August 30, 2017
DiCamillo is so gifted in making the extraordinary elements of who we are and, perhaps, why we are in such a simple way. Her stories, many for younger children, deal with themes of loss and love in ways that open themselves up to the deepest reflections and I love her for it.
When a young boy spends money that is not his in order to have his fortune told, a series of events unfolds in which an elephant is conjured from the air itself. The boy is told that the elephant will lead him to something important and so the story is set in motion.
Again, the accompanying illustrator has been chosen well, with Tanaka’s pictures adding that sense of isolation and warmth which is conjured in the text. DiCamillo as always, never holds her prose back, even from her youngest reader and has created here a marvelously touching and heart-warming story.
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