Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Book Review: The Magician's Elephant

Title: The Magician’s Elephant
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Rating: 5

The Magician’s Elephant is a short novel about hope, a mini masterpiece. Peter is an orphaned boy raised by an old soldier who is making Peter into a brave soldier himself. But Peter still dreams of his little sister Adele, the sister he lost when she was born. A second class magician is conjuring flowers in a theater when he decides to use a secret old magic taught him long ago. Instead of the perfect flower, an elephant crashes into the English theater and the consequences are tragic.

Told that an elephant will show him the answer he is seeking, Peter does everything he can to see the exotic creature, hoping to find the truth about the sister he’s sure he once held.

A striking cast of characters inhabit the dark, mystic realm DiCamillo shows us. But the darkness is overthrown by little bursts of light as Peter and his companions seek to save the elephant and rediscover what they’ve lost.

This little book, beautifully illustrated and more beautifully written, bears the trademark quality of DiCamillo’s style. You can taste the words, and the pictures she draws from the imagination are more like emotions than anything else. I’ve always admired writers who choose their words with such care that they say more with a single verb than most writers do with an entire book. DiCamillo is one of these writers. Her voice is like poetry and the precision in the rhythm of each syllable is perfect.

I highly recommend this splendid book to readers of any age.

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