Winner of BookBrowse's 2009 Children's Book Award. 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 will lead him there!) sets off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that you will hardly dare to believe its true.
Winner of BookBrowse's 2009 Children's Book Award
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 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.
At the end of the century before last, in the
market square of the city of Baltese, there
stood a boy with a hat on his head and a coin in
his hand. The boys name was Peter Augustus
Duchene, and the coin that he held did not
belong to him but was instead the property of
his guardian, an old soldier named Vilna lutz,
who had sent the boy to the market for fish
That day in the market square, in the midst of the entirely unremarkable and absolutely ordinary stalls of the fishmongers and cloth merchants and bakers and silversmiths, there had appeared, without warning or fanfare, the red tent of a fortuneteller. Attached to the fortunetellers tent was a piece of paper, and penned upon the paper in a cramped and unapologetic hand were these words: The most profound and difficult questions that could possibly be posed by the human mind or heart will be answered within for the price of one florit.
Peter read the small sign once, ...
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).
Full Review (937 words).
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...
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