Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Magician's Elephant by Kate…

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

by Kate DiCamillo, Yoko Tanaka (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,6311184,440 (3.91)68
Title:The Magician's Elephant
Authors:Kate DiCamillo
Other authors:Yoko Tanaka (Illustrator)
Info:Candlewick (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo (2009)

Recently added bySalishSchool, private library, EmBot, kncp, andrew7459, KristelWhippy, searscho, alexandragoodman

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 68 mentions

English (116)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All (118)
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
I really didn't like the illustrator's pictures. It was a little interesting- I was hoping that the blind man would turn out to be their dad or something along those lines but oh well. It's good that he found his sister. ( )
  Brinlie.Jill.Searle | Nov 22, 2016 |
"The Magician's Elephant" is a tribute to both the power of the imagination and the strength of the human spirit. The author's work has a whimsical and melancholy tone throughout. The tone reminds me of "The One And Only Ivan" by Katherine Applegate, due to its meditation on the absurdity of the human condition. Both of these marvelous books bring us close to an animal's mistreatment in captivity, a grave and profound human error. How we find each other, in a seemingly uninterested crowd,is the human dilemma. Indeed, Peter and Adele find each other in a way that is somewhat pre-destined, and that seems impossible.

"The Magician's Elephant"also reminds me of the magic realist novel, "One Hundred Years Of Solitude."Both novels present absurdities, such as the contagious insomnia in Garcia-Marquez' work, or the elephant held captive in the ballroom of a countess.These absurdities force us to re-examine hope and faith in what is our destiny to do.

-Breton W Kaiser Taylor ( )
  Breton07 | Oct 3, 2016 |
Though this is a childrens book, it is very appreciated among adults because it is written in a very poetic form and has some very thoughtful and deep meanings. This is a kind of story that is all about wonder, about the importance of taking care of each other and to appreciate life. A story that could easily be made as a Tim Burton movie. Very inspiring and and oddly written. ( )
  Ruby82 | Sep 13, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (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 (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate DiCamilloprimary authorall editionscalculated
Tanaka, YokoIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
"I intended lilies", said the magician.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Voici une histoire qui invite à croire en l'innatendu ... et à transformer l'extraordinaire en réalité.
Haiku summary

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 4 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)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
185 wanted
2 pay7 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.91)
1 3
1.5 2
2 28
2.5 7
3 86
3.5 32
4 134
4.5 38
5 121


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763644102, 0763648000

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 111,758,858 books! | Top bar: Always visible