The Magician’s Elephant
Ok, I’m ready to admit I’ll probably never feel ready to comment on this one. The New York Times review by Adam Gopnik revived my interest, because he appreciates everything I appreciate in it. He nails a description of her prose style in the final paragraph. It is sentimental, but utterly genuinely so.
People have wondered whether this book is written for "adults or for kids." I don’t get the impression that DiCamillo has an age of reader in mind. The quality of allegory in her stories suggests that she sees people without age labels. Her style has an oddly mature naivete that I think appeals to some adults and some kids.
I think that in the end the story did not accomplish as much as I thought it was going to from the setup…while others, like Where the Mountain Meets the Moon or Charles and Emma totally surprised me with the packages delivered in a very straightforward manner. Does this make them more distinguished? They did make me more excited.
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About Nina Lindsay
Nina Lindsay is the Children's Services Coordinator at the Oakland Public Library, CA. She chaired the 2008 Newbery Committee, and served on the 2004 and 1998 committees. You can reach her at email@example.com
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