Kate DiCamillo is a wonderful author, there is no doubt about that. It comes as no surprise to anyone, I’m sure, that three of her novels make an appearance on the Top 100 Children’s Books list. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, coming in at #97, is the story of a china rabbit that takes a rather unexpected but life-changing journey across the world. The novel is published in a sort of storybook fashion, as it should be. The story would make a perfect read-aloud and reads like a fairy tale of sorts, not unlike The Tale of Despereaux, just a little less action-packed. Edward Tulane, the china rabbit, begins the story as the pretentious, arrogant plaything of a young girl named Abilene. DiCamillo seems to have this gift of personifying animals, as she makes Edward come alive, though he is unable to even move himself around.
Along his miraculous journey, Edward meets, lives and travels with a very diverse character group, including other animals, children and a hobo. Opportunities abound throughout this novel to teach children about acceptance of differences in people, as well as the nature and act of love. Edward makes a slow transformation of truly learning to love and be loved. Most children will not pick up on the deeper lessons “taught” by the author, but the story is nonetheless rich in character development and life lessons that parents can introduce to their children, all wrapped up in this beautiful tale of love.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
by Kate DiCamillo
Originally published in 2006
Speaking of read-alouds and rabbits, I couldn’t help but think back to my first days of learning to read on my own, which brings to mind an easy reader titled Rabbit’s Rainy Day. Remember that one, Mom?
Also, you might notice that I skipped over #98, Children of Green Knowe. Well, don’t get your panties in a twist quite yet. I did read it and enjoyed the interesting take on “ghost stories.” However, I will be featuring a guest post later this week addressing the benefits of this acclaimed series. So stay tuned! Now, off to start The Witches!