Top 100 Children’s Novels #59: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
poignant, tender, lovely like the Velveteen Rabbit and a great read aloud – Charlotte Burrows
This deceptively skinny book is full of big ideas: love lost and gained, changing yourself over time and people coming into and out of your life leaving an imprint are but a few of these monumental life lessons we all want our kids to learn. I’ve read this aloud to students as well as my own boys and I’ve weeped unabashedly each time. – Tess Alfonsin
He was #97 on the last poll. He is #59 on this poll. Make of that what you will.
In Publishers Weekly, Katherine Paterson said of this book, “Even in the galley stage, this is a beautiful book. Ibatoulline’s illustrations are simply wonderful, and the high quality of the design incorporates luxurious paper and spaciously arranged blocks of text. But a story for today about a toy rabbit? Okay, I thought, Kate DiCamillo can make me cry for a motherless child and a mongrel stray. She can wring my heart following the trials of two lonely children and a caged tiger, and bring tears to my eyes for a brave little lovesick mouse, but why should I care what happens to an arrogant, over-dressed china rabbit? But I did care, desperately, and I think I can safely predict you will, too.”
There were alternate takes on the book as well.
- Read a selection from the book here.
- To my surprise I was not able to discover any staged productions of this particular book. You can instead download a bit of reader’s theater or a teacher’s guide if you like.
- You may also borrow an Edward Tulane costume for your next party.
- And a reenactment of the book can be found here.
Publishers Weekly said of it, “There is nothing cloying in the telling of this tale, nothing sweeping or epic or self-satisfied on these pages. Kate DiCamillo gives us a fragile and wonderfully human antihero and a meaningful, memorable story with all the markings of a future classic.”
The starred review in School Library Journal said, “This achingly beautiful story shows a true master of writing at her very best.”
Kirkus also gave it a star saying, “Somewhere between fairy tale and fable, DiCamillo spins the tale of Edward, transformed by the lives he touches. The reader will be transformed too.”
And Booklist (with a star) said, “The story soars because of DiCamillo’s lyrical use of language and her understanding of universal yearnings. This will be a pleasure to read aloud.”
Honestly there aren’t really that many different jackets. There is, however, the British edition:
And this song “Corner Store” was inspired by the book.
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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