I really wanted to read DiCamillo's new book "The Magician's Elephant" and while I am on the waiting list at the library to get it I decided to check out some of her other books. After reading the synopsis of a couple, I decided this book looked interesting. It ended up being a very well written story and an amazing book.
Edward is a china rabbit that belongs to a young girl. But Edward is a vain rabbit, more concerned about his appearance than about how the little girl loves him. Edward can see the world around him and think about the world but he cannot really interact. Edward's life changes forever when he is lost overboard into the sea and goes on a journey that takes him through many people's lives.
DiCamillo is an excellent story teller. There are few writers out there that you can just tell right away are excellent classic story tellers; DeCamillo is one. This story engaged me immediately and took me on a wonderful emotional and physical journey; where I watched as things unravel from Edward's prespective.
While the story is more focused at children, I think all ages will adore it. For an adult it is a very quick read, but a wonderful read nonetheless. At some parts it reminded me a little of "The Veleteen Rabbit" and at other parts the story telling reminded me somewhat of Neil Gaiman's stories for children. What surprised me is despite the number of characters that Edward meets all of them are very real and engaging. I was surprised at both how heart-breaking parts of the story were and how beautiful other parts were. It takes a good writer to pack that much emotion and that much journey into such a slight novel. A couple points in the novel are quite sad, and I wondered if I would be able to get through them while reading aloud without crying. So, a warning to parents who would read this to their children, maybe take a quick breeze through it first to see what you think.
I was also impressed at the lesson the tale tells. It teaches a good lesson about what is really important in life. This is one of those stories that can be enjoyed on many levels. Kids will love the story about a thinking china rabbit on an adventure and adults will be drawn in my this rabbit's quest to figure out what it means to love and be loved. It is a wonderful writer who can appeal to such a wide audience at so many levels. Overall, a wonderful story; I am looking forward to reading more of DiCamillo's books.