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 its 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 magicians touch.
In a highly awaited new novel, Kate DiCamillo conjures a haunting fable about trusting the unexpected - and making the extraordinary come true.
Feeling separate is a universal experience. Too often these days, we live behind picket fences, or triple-locked doors. We live behind stone walls or lines in the sand. We live behind fear or worry. The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo is a story about people who break through these barriers - a story brimming with connection and the hope, love and, yes, even magic that comes from those connections. On the one hand it's a magical, faraway fable, and on the other hand a very present and real story, both woven together in the seamless way that can only come from Kate DiCamillo. (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).
The Christian Science Monitor
[T]he book begs for more than one reading and for sharing aloud. The quiet atmosphere and the tribulations of Peter are layered with a bit of pacifist sentiment and more than a touch of darkness. Younger children may miss the underlying themes, but no matter. Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo’s latest is a fairy tale, a mystery, a truly magical story of love and hope that will captivate readers young and old.
The Washington Post
Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo tells a timeless tale as "strange and lovely and promising" as her title character. The occasional illustrations, too, are dreamlike and magical. With its rhythmic sentences and fairy-tale tone, this novel yields solitary pleasures but begs to be read aloud.
Thoughtful readers will feel a quiet satisfaction with this almost dainty tale of impossible happenings.
The absurdist elements...leaven the overall seriousness, and there is a happy if predictable ending.
Starred Review. A quieter volume than The Tale of Despereaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, this has an equal power to haunt readers long past the final page.
School Library Journal
Starred Review. Tanaka's acrylic artwork is meticulous in detail and aptly matches the tone of the narrative. This is a book that demands to be read aloud.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by karli the elephants magician It is a mysterious book. It's an adventure about a boy looking for his sister. It's very great. I wish there was more to it
Rated of 5
by Marianna Clark The Magician's Elephant: A Reveiw Just like any other book this book has its strengths and weaknesses. One of the strengths of this book is that it has an interesting quality of magic that brings the reader into the story. It makes you not want to keep reading. The Magicians... Read More
Rated of 5
by anonymous The Best Book Ever I gave it a rate of 5 because it was really good. Near the end was the best because it was where all the different stories merged and how they at the end become one story. I recommend this book to people who like fantasy books and people who don't... Read More
Rated of 5
by Shannon Swift Awsome This book is so so so so so so so great! Anyone should like it! Even not good readers!
Rated of 5
by tori TOO MUCH SNOW! I thought it was a good book except for the fact that it had at least 2 paragraphs about how much it snowed in where ever they live. If it had had less of that then I would have given it more of a thumbs up.
Rated of 5
by Pinkie Kate dicamillo books I read your book the Magicians Elephant and it was incredible. I loved it!! I'm only 11 years old and I thought it was AMAZING.!!! Your my favorite author as well as my best friends. We both LOVE your books. We read your books: the Tale of... Read More
The magician in The Magician's Elephant makes an elephant appear. But what about an elephant that disappears?
In 1918, Houdini made an elephant vanish from the middle of the Hippodrome Theatre in New York before over 5000 pairs of eyes. Jennie was an 8 foot tall, 6,000 pound Asian elephant and when Houdini brought her onto the stage she would raise her trunk as though she were saying hello to the audience, and then she would walk into a box on wheels - and disappear.
Who taught Houdini how to do this magic trick? And how did Houdini do it?
First the who. In the early part of the 1900's, a man named Charles Morritt (1860-1936), sold and taught Houdini the basic principles of this illusion. A few years ago, Morritt's great-nephew, Norman Allen, researched his family ancestry and uncovered the story of this not-so-famous illusionist and hypnotist...
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...