Saturday, October 5, 2013
Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo...
How I Heard About It: While in Nebraska visiting my daughter I saw this book on the shelf at a local bookstore. I have enjoyed Kate DiCamillo's previous books so I purchased this one with great expectations. I was not disappointed.
What It Is About: The story begins with a vacuum cleaner, a disgruntled wife, and a clueless husband. The next scene brings in Flora, a young cynical girl, a squirrel, and the vacuum cleaner. What follows is an incredible adventure of Flora and Ulysses; her new squirrel friend who ends up with super powers because of the vacuum cleaner. Throw in a mother who is a romance novel writer, a father who is straight-laced, the wife from next door, her great-nephew; and the next thing you know all of them are involved in a situation that they never thought possible. I would say this book is part cartoon, part fantasy, part mystery, and mostly a lovely story about a girl and her closest friend.
What I Thought Of It: I found this to be a delightful novel. It was not what I was expecting, but quite the pleasant surprise. The opening "cartoon" scene will grab you right off the bat and take you on a wild ride. The characters were unique, fresh, and endearing. The writing was solid, cleaver, and as good as ever for Kate DiCamillo. The 6-hour car ride helped in me not being able to put this book down, but no matter where I would have read it, it would have been "unputdownable."
Who Should Read It: I knew as soon as I read this book, I wanted to share it with my fourth graders. Because the illustrations add greatly to the book, I think this book needs to be in the hands of the reader. I'm going to use it as a book club selection for my "Breakfast with Books". It could make a great read aloud, but the illustrations would need to be shared. This is a perfect book for readers in fourth through sixth grade. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars!