“Clyde? Edward felt a weariness so intense wash over him that he thought he might actually be able to sigh aloud. Would the world never tire of calling him by the wrong name?” (Kate DiCamillo, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane)
This is another one of those lovely little books that is akin to a reading snack – of the hour long, pensive, tea and cookies variety. Actually, if you were to wrap up this book as a gift, you would do well to include a snack, as if you were giving a feature-length film instead of a long-term project. Some chocolates and wine wouldn’t go amiss, or you might try a gift card for coffee and a muffin, Sencha tea and a cranberry scone, or a hot chocolate packet and a little box of cookies for younger readers.
What I do find miraculous about Edward’s journey is how he changes (into a rabbit who can love) mostly when he is alone, trapped at the bottom of the sea, under piles of garbage, or in a toy store. So many children’s chapter books show their characters transforming in the heat of action – coming to a realization only at the climax of the adventure. Edward Tulane, however, has desolate years of solitude in which to ponder his situation, and each time he comes out of this purifying loneliness he understands slightly more about love. Kate DiCamillo shows this slower process of growth beautifully and uses it to capture each reader’s heart.
Reminds me… strangely enough, of Pascal’s Pensee’s, because it was the despair (may we call it Ennui?) of loneliness and boredom that finally drove Edward to be able to love.
Also, if you like this book, you might want to check out The Tale of Despereaux, also by Kate DiCamillo.