The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

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What if? Why not? Could it be?
When a fortune teller's tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchenne knows the questions that he needs to ask: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her? The fortune teller's mysterious answer (an elephant! An elephant will lead you 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 told 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.

About Kate DiCamillo

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Kate DiCamillo is the author of The Magician's Elephant, a New York Times bestseller; The Tale of Despereaux, which was awarded the Newbery Medal; Because of Winn-Dixie, a Newbery Honor book; and six books starring Mercy Watson, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride. Kate DiCamillo lives in Minneapolis. Alison McGhee is the award-winning author of books for all ages, including Song of Middle C, illustrated by Scott Menchin; the #1 New York Times bestseller Someday, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds; the young adult novel All Rivers Flow to the Sea; and the adult novel Shadow Baby, a Today Show Book Club selection. Alison McGhee lives in Minnesota. Tony Fucile is the author-illustrator of Let's Do Nothing! and the illustrator of Hallie Durand's Mitchell's License. He has spent more than twenty years designing and animating characters for numerous feature films, including The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles. Tony Fucile lives in the San Francisco Bay area.
Published August 30, 2009 by Candlewick. 208 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Magician's Elephant

The New York Times

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A magician makes a comic and sinister mistake in this unsentimental, magical story.

Dec 06 2009 | Read Full Review of The Magician's Elephant


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Kate DiCamillo's latest children's book, The Magician's Elephant, begins with a crash when an elephant bursts through the ceiling of an opera house.

Oct 20 2009 | Read Full Review of The Magician's Elephant

Common Sense Media

... Is The Magician's Elephant OK for your child? ... The story is not a totally happy one but in the end everyone in the book either gets what they ...

Sep 08 2009 | Read Full Review of The Magician's Elephant

You'll even want to spend more time with the silly socialite who houses the elephant and crazy Vilna Lutz who insists on Peter eating old bread to toughen him up for military life.

Oct 30 2017 | Read Full Review of The Magician's Elephant

Bottom Line Book Reviews

Kate's books also appeal to adults so if you are an adult who loves children's stories this is a must read.

Oct 31 2009 | Read Full Review of The Magician's Elephant

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