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.
In a highly awaited new novel, Kate DiCamillo conjures a haunting fable about trusting the unexpected -- and making the extraordinary come true.
In DiCamillo's fifth novel, a clairvoyant tells 10-year-old Peter, an orphan living with a brain-addled ex-soldier, that an elephant will lead him to his sister, who the ex-soldier claims died at birth. The fortuneteller's prediction seems cruelly preposterous as there are no pachyderms anywhere near Baltese, a vaguely eastern European city enduring a bitter winter. Then that night at the opera house, a magician "of advanced years and failing reputation" attempts to conjure a bouquet of lilies but instead produces an elephant that crashes through the ceiling. Peter learns that both magician and beast have been jailed, and upon first glimpse of the imprisoned elephant, Peter realizes that his fate and the elephant's are linked. The mannered prose and Tanaka's delicate, darkly hued paintings give the story a somber and old-fashioned feel. The absurdist elements-street vendors peddle chunks of the now-infamous opera house ceiling with the cry "Possess the plaster of disaster!"-leaven the overall seriousness, and there is a happy if predictable ending for the eccentric cast of anguished characters, each finding something to make them whole. Ages 8-13. (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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1 . In the small town of Amsterdam, there was an elephant and a boy named Peter....
Posted March 05, 2011 by Leah , Laurel, MD"The Magician's Elephant" is an amazing story about a boy who is trying to find his purpose in the world. On day, he receives a coin from his guardian that he must buy fish and fish only. Peter, the boy, goes into the markets to find some fish when he sees a tent containing a fortune teller. He walks in and gives the fortune teller his only coin. The wise fortune teller tells Peter that very soon an elephant will come. But what is the purpose for this elephant? How will this benefit Peter? And why would an elephant appear in Amsterdam?
September 07, 2009
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