The Magician’s Elephant – Kate DiCamillo

The Magician’s Elephant – Kate DiCamillo

In a highly awaited new novel, 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 ask: 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.

I went on a DiCamillo binge a month or two ago, and have enjoyed every single book. This one is aimed at readers ages 8-13, but it resonated with me as a tale of hope and compassion. DiCamillo’s children’s book contain more depth than many books for adults, and in fewer words. My niece (age 10) introduced me to her works, and I’m immensely glad that she did. Recommended for younger readers and adults.