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The Magician's Elephant Hardcover – September 8, 2009
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From School Library Journal
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If you are a teacher interested in using this for guided reading, I used the book with my high level readers in fourth grade. They did require some guidance in understanding the complexities and depth of the writing, but with guidance and good questioning the kids really enjoy the book.
"She lives!" - that's what Peter said when the fortuneteller had told him that his sister was not dead and that an elephant would lead him to her. This powerful belief led Peter through a spell-bounding journey where the impossible becomes possible.
A Magician conjures an elephant, which comes crashing through the ceiling of the Opera House. In an imaginary town where there were no elephants. This event was somehow connected to Adele, Peter's sister.
The author develops each character in this story showing all their emotions and imperfections. I think this author is very well in tune with people's emotions and she knows so well how to translate feelings into words. Also she describes imaginary places with such detail and emotion that it feels that you are there. The reader connects with the characters because they have dimension and depth.
I really enjoyed this book most of all because of characters seem real. It is so well written that I felt like reading more of Kate DiCamillo's books. And I did. And I loved them. "( from the kids books review blog IsabelasBookNook.com)
If you buy the "Special Signed Edition," you get the same thing: the trade first edition with signatures. (The adhesive bar code on the back covers up that of the trade edition.)
For the extra cost ($50 retail), you'd think the publisher would have added a limitation sheet with the signatures, at a minimum, or perhaps a slipcase to protect the book, or a different binding: but no, this is simply the regular edition plus the signatures of both Kate DiCamillo and Yoko Tanana, with a rubber-stamped elephant drawing.
As a long-time publisher myself that has issued limited, signed editions--bound in leather, traycased, numbered and signed--I am frankly surprised that there's no text in the advertising copy to make this important distinction clear.
So let me be clear: You are getting an autographed trade edition. Nothing more, nothing less.
Beyond that, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING "Special" about this edition. Nada. Zilch. Nothing.
The trade edition retails for $16.99 (Amazon sells it for $9.93).
The question you must ask yourself: Is the difference in price worth it for two autographs? Only YOU can answer THAT question.
illustrated by Yoko Tanaka
The story begins in the fictional, central European town of Baltese , "At the end of the century before the last". It is clear that there has been a war. There is a pervasive atmosphere of sorrow, want and hopelessness in the setting. Enter the orphan, Peter Augustus Duchene, a fortune teller, a magician "of failing reputation" , and an elephant.What follows is a mysterious, magical story in which hope and faith eventually triumph. The black and white illustrations are subtly evocative, and add much to the magical atmosphere of the story.
I was enchanted with this story. Had I read it as a child, this would have been a five star book for me. However, I was not a typical reader. I think The Magician's Elephant would have limited appeal for the ordinary 8 to 12 year-old. It would find favor with the bright readers who have an early appreciation of good literature. With careful guidance, it might stimulate some good discussion as a read-a-loud.
Top international reviews
I'm not sure if this book is suitable for children but I will test it out in my class of 10-11 year olds and get their verdict. I have taken the advice of another reviewer and read it as a piece of theatre written in prose. This advice has helped me work through the seemingly strange turns of phrases and repetition in the book. It can be read in less than two hours and like a play, I would encourage you to read it in one full sitting to digest all that this book offers. A highly recommended story.
Will read it time and again :)
英文は複雑ではありませんが、少し語彙力は必要かと思います。 挿絵は、 たなかようこさん・・・という方が書いておられます。素敵な絵でカラーだったらどんなにいいだろう・・・と思った次第です。