Caution, do NOT buy this book! If you read "The Tale of Despereaux" and thought the author wrote a similar story, think again. This book is a HORROR STORY about what happens to a lost china rabbit, and it is every child's worst nightmare about whatever-happened-to-my-lost-stuffed-animal. My 8-year-old son had lost his stuffed bunny/comfort toy, and we always told him that "Big Bunny" must have been found by another child and is being loved and cared for. This book tells a horrifying tale of every imaginable terrible thing that could happen to the lost toy. From being posted as a scarecrow, landing in a dump, being kicked and thrown, trans-gender dressing, and every conceivable abusive situation in-between. We have a brief tale of elder-abuse; a little boy left to care for his dying toddler sister (sounds like TB, coughing up blood) while scrounging up food while absentee drunken father comes home and abuses him, then the little girl dies, and father is abusive again; homeless people/hobos being abused; etc. All told with terrifying cruelty. All of these abusive situations are presented as "payback" for the rabbit not loving his original owner enough! This is a true horror story. My poor son (2nd grader) cried for days, and can't even look at the cover of the book. He now feels that his lost bunny has been horribly treated, and that he is somehow at fault for losing him; and that his bunny may not have loved him enough, more tears. What a miserable story. Even my 11-year old was shocked and pulled me aside and scolded me for reading such a bad story to his little brother. How I wished I had stopped reading, but I kept looking forward for some "happy parts" to give my child comfort--there were NO HAPPY PARTS. Please don't buy this book for your children...you will be very sorry!
Didn't you read the end of the book? That's not what the book is about. It's not a horror story. It's about learning how to love despite the risk of pain from loss. It's about loving despite that pain and having your heart open again to love some more.
This review is a JOKE. What a great story about the journey that we are all on and what we do with what we are faced with. This book is a gem. You are way too sensitive to many things as is evident in your emotional review. Sad you don't see the story for what it is. Your 8 year old is missing valuable learning opportunities. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Book ... I am so sorry that this book brought such sadness to you and your family. Please look further into the source of your reactions. Sincerely. God Bless...
Your reaction startled me. I hope you might give it another read. I feel like you have been denied a tremendous glimpse into one of the great trials of life and how we can overcome it. There will likely be a time in your life, maybe when your son is a little older and has experienced some of the "uglies" of life, that this story will come back to provide a little comfort and understanding. I do thank you for your post, though. It gave me a chance to ponder my Edward Tulane moments and be thankful for the blessings I enjoy.
Edward Tulane is about redemption - unmerited love. It is definitely and emotional book, but with purpose. Edwards has character flaws that we all face: pride, ungratefulness, apathy. He is loved despite those flaws and learns that he is loved - not that he has to earn it! Did you read the whole book? It is the BEST children's book I've ever read.
I'm so happy to read the responses to this book. I just finished reading it aloud to the kids in my 3rd grade class and we all loved it. Even parents have emailed me talking about the excitement their children come home with to tell them about what we read today. True, there are parts in the story that are sad, scary, worrysome, but many children feel these same things. This book offers them an opportunity to see that their lives are normal, as well as how to deal with them. When we came to the part about the child coughing up blood, we discussed why that happens and how extreme and rare it is. The reality is that some children do grow up with abuse, some children do grow up neglected. You cannot shelter your children from the world. My class discussed these things and how to deal with them. We talked about being compassionate to our friends who might be having a bad day. We turned the whole book into a lesson and I KNOW my students are better because of it. They have bigger hearts because of it!
It may be because of your personal horror of your son loosing his bunny that makes you squeemish. My son (9) loved this book as did his classmates. They read it in class and it was discussed and analyzed (as in 4th grade analysis). Not even the girls were put off. It is clearly not for your 2nd grader. Perhaps you should wait to read it when you are older.
Yes, this is a great book. Kids are aware of how terrible people and life can be. Don't keep them locked away. This is a True Book For Children, and I am using that as a proper, caps-at-the-beginning way.
It is evident that you are definitely a "glass is half empty" person. This book made me feel good on a particularly difficult day. It illustrated the important power of love in one's life and the idea that you should never give up seeking it. If your children are especially sensitive, perhaps you should have read the book first to make sure it was appropriate for their gentle natures.
Edward Tulane is one of the most honest children's books in regards to life lessons and growth! I am so tired of saccharine children's books that are one dimensional. I hope to always contiue growing from my own and others' experiences just as Edward did. Bravo Kate DiCamillo!
I remember hating "children's" books as a kid because they seemed to refuse to let anything bad (aka realistic) happen to anyone in case it would scare the children (which is why I started reading Edgar Allen Poe's poetry as a first-grader...wait...). I think, while it has some harsh parts, Edward Tulane is a shining example of a book that sets out to make its point in ways that will truly make the reader understand, no matter how ugly the truth is. The way Edward was before all his trials was unacceptible, he was unloveable and could not love anyone else, and (pardon my somewhat uncouth language, I'm tired) he needed to get the crap kicked out of him to appreciate what he had.
The book was recommended to me by a third grade teacher I was working with over the summer when I was 16. He had offered it as a choice for read-aloud along with something with a scarier-looking cover, so he'd gotten stuck reading the other book first, but he handed Edward to me separately and promised I'd love it. I finished it a few hours later, and could not believe how moving the book really was. Sometimes, it's the themes and images that make you cringe and want to cry that really work the best (Titanic, anyone?)
I think it is, however, important that parents and teachers know their kids before reading this book to their children. I think most kids will be able to handle it (anyone watched kids play videogames in the last 10 years? it's pretty brutal), but if you know your kid has suffered some trauma (*coughoriginalpostercough*) or is prone to nightmares or just fear in general, then maybe don't read it to them, but any "normal" kid should be fine.
Several people seem to feel that it is good for children to be exposed to the dark side of real life in their books. I agree that it's sometimes instructive, and can induce gratitude for how lucky the reader is, or compassion for those less fortunate. But, it's also crucial for children to learn that when cruel things happen to them, they can get help. The majority of people around them are good and would protect them. We have laws and court systems to protect the weak in our society. The Miraculous Adventures of Edward Tulane teaches that life is grim and brutal and there's nothing you can do about it except wait for someone to save you.
Edward himself is completely paralyzed, mute and helpless to stop people from hurting him or his loved ones. The other kind characters are also powerless--they are elderly, sick, abused, poor and a dog. The powerful characters in the book are all nasty and cruel. Bullies take off Edward's clothes in front of Abilene, and throw him in the ocean, and Edward and Abilene can do nothing to stop them. The bullies get away with their actions, as do all the mean characters in the book. In the most brutal part of the book, Bryce, a child who is abused by an alcoholic father holds his beloved sister while she dies. But that is not enough suffering for Bryce. He bonds with Edward and figures out a way to make money with Edward so that he might be able to improve his situation. Of course, this too is snatched away from him when a man smashes Edward's porcelain head on the counter because he hates dancing bunnies. In a rare positive event, Edward is mended, but now a mercenary, heartless toy maker is in control and won't even let Bryce hold Edward. Bryce leaves the shop--completely alone, as powerless and victimized as Edward. Where is Bryce's happy ending?
So, if my child is upset by this, she is abnormal? (according to J.N.Brown) Her teacher is reading Edward Tulane to a first grade class which contains five year olds.
This a wonderful children's book, a story of hope and learning to love. Not to spoil it, but there is a happy ending-- and exactly the one the reader wants to see! The OP should stay far away from anything by Lemony Snicket or Neil Gaiman. Stick to The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Potter) if you want a rabbit story, OP. Maybe try some Little Golden Books such asHome for a Bunny (A Little Golden Book) or maybe The Runaway Bunny. That will probably make you cry, too, though.
I am a school librarian and have recommended this book to countless children, and EVERY SINGLE one of them has absolutely LOVED it and consider it one of their favorites! I feel as if you completely missed the point.
Calling Edward Tulane a "horror story" is like saying the same of the Velveteen Rabbit, which we all know is not true. Edward Tulane is a similar in many ways to the Velveteen Rabbit, including sad/uneasy parts such as the illness and "mistreatment" of the toys by those who don't think toys have feelings. I think the other reviews above nailed it - children feel emotions and it is important to discuss the emotions they have and what they're about. This book is a great read and has great discussion points. This book is a great read, in both a teacher and parent's opinion!
I just finished reading this book, as did my 7 year old daughter. We read some parts together, other parts at different times (because she has often woken up early and started reading it without me). Not only do I love the book, she has declared it her new favorite! It will stay in our library and certainly be read many times!
How interesting that "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" is my daughter's favorite book. I guess it's however a parent interprets the story to their child when they discuss it. I am an elementary librarian and my students love this book. It's a beautiful poignant story about not appreciating what you have and then finding out the world can be a sad place but you can overcome it. I call it a two kleenexer book and my students laugh because they know it will have sad parts but that it has a happy ending. Interpreting a story to the worst degree to an 8 year old child is never appropriate. Apparently this adult has misinterpreted the story to the extreme to say it has "every conceivable abusive situation","trans=gender dressing", and their child is now traumatized by the story. Get real and get counseling.
My sister, a 4th grade teacher, purchased this book for me. It is her favorite book. I read it in a day and though I agree it was sad, I enjoyed it and thought it had powerful messages about endurance, tolerance, and love. It did remind me of The Velveteen Rabbit, because that is also very sad, but a beautiful story. I am 51 years old and believe it was a book I will never forget.