I picked up The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo on my Kindle tempted by the then $.99 price tag. This weekend I was traveling and needed something light and short to read and decided this was a perfect fit.
And it turned out to be a sweet, dream-like fairy tale; and at the same time an inspirational story about the power of dreams and the determination to follow them.
Here is the publisher’s teaser:
When a fortuneteller’s tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchene knows the questions that he needs to ask: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her?
The fortuneteller’s mysterious answer (An elephant! An elephant will lead him there!) sets off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that Peter can hardly dare to believe it.
But it is-all of it-true.
It is worth noting that writing a fairy tale is harder than it might sound. It is not easy to write short elegant, dream-like fairy tales that don’t come off too saccharine or derivative, etc. The best evidence that DiCamillo had succeeded was that I kept reading until I had finished the story without thinking about it; she drops you into this world and you are soon caught up in it and suspend your disbelief as the saying goes. The story feels like a real fairy tale if that makes sense.