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The Magician's Elephant by Kate…
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The Magician's Elephant (original 2009; edition 2011)

by Kate DiCamillo, Yoko Tanaka (Illustrator)

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1,5751154,640 (3.91)68
Member:YongDC
Title:The Magician's Elephant
Authors:Kate DiCamillo
Other authors:Yoko Tanaka (Illustrator)
Info:Candlewick (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 208 pages
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The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo (2009)

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» See also 68 mentions

English (113)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (115)
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
Like a minor Philip Pullman novel; I was convinced that DiCamillo must be British. But she is not. ( )
  themulhern | Aug 23, 2016 |
Haunted by the idea that his baby sister might still be alive, Peter Augustus Duchene, a young orphan being raised by an old soldier-friend of his father's, visits a fortune teller. Her declaration that Adele lives, and that an elephant will lead him to her, leaves Peter shaken - is it possible that Vilna Lutz, the soldier who has been raiding him, could be lying about Adele? and if so, where will this prophesied elephant come from, when no such creature exists in all the city of Baltese? - until a magician unexpectedly conjures an elephant at his final show. As Adele dreams of elephants in her cold orphanage, and the elephant herself dreams of home, Peter must find a way too see this most unusual visitor, and to fulfill the fortune-teller's prophecy...

The Magician's Elephant is something of a departure for Kate DiCamillo, whose previous output has been more in the line of animal fantasy - Newbery Medal titles The Tale of Despereaux and Flora and Ulysses - or contemporary realistic fiction - most notably, Newbery Honor book Because of Winn Dixie. This is more of a fantasy, and has a different feeling to it altogether than any other DiCamillo tale I have read. It is quite atmospheric, transporting the reader to the grey gloom of a Baltese winter. I enjoyed the story, and recognized a number of DiCamillo themes - the importance forgiveness, for instance, as Madame LaVaughn must eventually find a way to pardon the magician, whose magic has crippled her. That said, I wasn't as emotionally involved here, as I have been with some of this author's other stories. I'd be interested to see what else she produces, if she ventures into this territory again. Perhaps this, as her first foray, suffered a bit? However that may be, still a solidly engaging work, one I would recommend to fans of the author, and to any young readers looking for atmospheric works in which young orphans find a home. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jul 12, 2016 |
Another magical adventure. I'm continually disturbed by the fact that what was imo opinion her weakest book turned out to be the one made into such a popular movie. I hope people were turned onto this enchantress by Because of Winn-Dixie" and are now enjoying these more complex and creative works." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
The Magician’s Elephant – Kate Dicamillo
illustrated by Yoko Tanaka
4 stars

The story begins in the fictional, central European town of Baltese, “At the end of the century before the last”. It is clear that there has been a war. There is a pervasive atmosphere of sorrow, want and hopelessness in the setting. Enter the orphan, Peter Augustus Duchene, a fortune teller, a magician “of failing reputation” , and an elephant.What follows is a mysterious, magical story in which hope and faith eventually triumph. The black and white illustrations are subtly evocative, and add much to the magical atmosphere of the story.
I was enchanted with this story. Had I read it as a child, this would have been a five star book for me. However, I was not a typical reader. I think The Magician’s Elephant would have limited appeal for the ordinary 8 to 12 year-old. It would find favor with the bright readers who have an early appreciation of good literature. With careful guidance, it might stimulate some good discussion as a read-a-loud.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
“At the end of the century before last…” Peter Augustus Duchene (a young orphan boy) comes upon a fortune teller in the market. He simply must find out if his sister lives and how to get to her! The answer is unexpected – “You must follow the elephant. She will lead you there.” An elephant?! What elephant?

And so begins an adventure of the spirit, of hoping against all odds, of believing in the impossible, of love, of loneliness, of trust, of forgiveness. DiCamillo’s prose is magical and evocative. The book begs to be read aloud (and I kept reading sections to anyone who would listen). Yoko Tanaka’s soft pencil illustrations are the perfect complement to DiCamillo’s heartfelt story. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
DiCamillo writes here in a register entirely her own, catching not the ­whimsical-fabulous note of earlier masters for young readers, nor the jokey-realistic one that has too often taken its place, but instead a mood of sober magic that unfolds into something that can be called, without pejorative, “sentimental,” meaning straightforward and heartfelt. The style may evoke Calvino, but the substance belongs to Christmas.
 
added by melmore | editNational Public Radio (Oct 20, 2009)
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate DiCamilloprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tanaka, YokoIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
For H.S.L. and A.M.T.
They walked ahead of me.K.D.
For Daniel Favini, who magically appeared in my life and made my world blossom. Y.T.
First words
At the end of the century before last, in the market square of the city of Baltese, there stood a boy with a hat on his head and a coin in his hand.
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"I intended lilies", said the magician.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0763644102, Hardcover)

Amazon Best of the Month, September 2009: Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo--author of The Tale of Despereaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane-- has crafted another exquisite novel for young readers. The Magician's Elephant tells the tale of Peter Augustus Duchene, a ten-year-old orphan who receives an unbelievable piece of information from the local fortuneteller. Peter learns that his fate is tied to an elephant that has inexplicably fallen from the sky when a magician's trick goes terribly wrong. Why did it happen? And, how can an elephant possibly change the course of Peter's life? This darkly atmospheric, yet hopeful tale, demonstrates that when the answers to life’s big questions are opaque or unforthcoming, all is not lost. DiCamillo's rhythmic writing, combined with Yoko Tanaka's mysterious black-and-white illustrations, enchants and calls out to our sincerest wishes and dreams (recommended for readers ages 8-13). --Lauren Nemroff 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:53 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When ten-year-old orphan Peter Augustus Duchene encounters a fortune teller in the marketplace one day and she tells him that his sister, who is presumed dead, is in fact alive, he embarks on a remarkable series of adventures as he desperately tries to find her.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763644102, 0763648000

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