“Magic is always impossible,” said the magician. “It begins with the impossible and ends with the impossible and is impossible in between. That is why it is magic.”
If those words straight from the magician’s mouth don’t intrigue you, then nothing on this earth will. This glorious fable, now available in paperback is one of magic, mistique and intrigue and perfect for the dark October nights.
Amazon description: 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 must 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 is true. With atmospheric illustrations by fine artist Yoko Tanaka, here is a dreamlike and captivating tale that could only be told by 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.
What I really love about this book is how well the illustrations are paired with the story. Kate DiCamillo tells a perfect and often heartbreaking tale through the eyes of little Peter and Yoko Tanaka’s illustrations give him just cause to hope and believe that his sister is still alive. And if we’ve ever learnt anything from Michael Morpurgo, we will know any tale with an elephant is a tale of true worth. The illustrations are haunting and tell a lot of the disparity of Peter’s world.
There’s something quite Dickensian about a street performer and the cover seems to reinforce that. It might just be my love for Oliver Twist and the performers in The Old Curiosity Shop but the book certainly seems to draw inspiration from a time when street performers were entertainment but also posed a threat.
A beautiful tale that inspires morals and messages throughout. Often confusing and peculiar but a book that certainly makes you smile.
The Magician’s Elephant, published by Walker Books, PB, £6.99