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The Magician’s Elephant

The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo, illus Yoko Tanaka. Pub. Candlewick Press 2009.

This is a brilliant story for everyone but probaly for school years 5-8 or children 10 -13.

Peter Augustus Duchene lives with an ex soldier who tells him his father died bravely in battle and his mother died in childbirth as did hs baby sister.

Peter however has doubts about this, particularly over the fate of his sister Adele. When a fortunetellers tent appears in the market square of the City of Baltese, Peter spends his masters money asking the fortuneteller “is my sister still alive and if so how can I find her?”

The answer, involving an elephant, will activate the dullest of imaginations and inspire the most reluctant of readers.

This story is brilliantly written in short chapters, short paragraphs and short sentences with the languageĀ  a treat to read. Some sentences will leave you gasping at their brilliance.

Kate DiCamillo introduces a range of weird and wonderfull characters whose fate all comes together at the wonderful end.

If you miss this story you will kick yourself just as you would have if you had missed Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by the same author.

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