Saturday, October 3, 2009

Review of The Magician's Elephant

The Magician's Elephant The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Once again, Kate does her own special brand of magic. Set in a quasi-European country, in a time before our own (1800s maybe?), it's a story about a boy, an elephant, a magician. About being trapped, displaced, and being free; of holding on and of letting go. Most of all, about love.

It's the kind of book--my favorite--that if you are a lonely, desperately unhappy child, will give you hope and a reason to grow up and outward into the world where the impossible, yes, the impossible, does--amazingly--happen after all.

Line that leapt out: "Magic is impossible," said the magician. "It begins with the impossible and ends with the impossible and is impossible in between. That is why it is magic."

One might substitute the word life for the word magic, certainly the word love; indeed, any endeavor worth its while (such as writing, baking, gardening, or raising children). Then one might, like DiCamillo's character Bartok Whynn, discover laughter.

(Disclaimer: Miss M does not apologize for philosophizing or moralizing, for crying, laughing, or jumping up and down with glee: she believes that that is what writing is for.)

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