Tag Archives: Kate DiCamillo

Because of Winn-Dixie (Kate DiCamillo) – Review

Because of Winn-DixieBecause of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Age: 9+
Genre: Fiction
Source: Library
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2000
ISBN: 0763616052 / 182 pages
Awards: Newberry Honor Book

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India Opal Buloni just moved to Naomi, Florida with her father, the preacher. Friendless and listless, India’s summer in a new town is soon filled with new friends and experiences because of a stray-dog named Winn-Dixie.

This book is like a lighter version of To Kill A Mockingbird, but without the murder trial and mass racism. There is prejudice in Naomi, FL., but in a different form. Children and adults cast judgements about their neighbors without knowing their true stories. Take Otis from Gertrude’s Pets. A mild-mannered and shy fellow who had an unfortunate stint in jail. There is Gloria Dump, the woman children taunt as a “witch”.

India’s life is immediately changed when she finds and claims Winn-Dixie as her own at the Winn-Dixie grocery store. India goes through a summer of self-discovery and coming of age. She not only learns more about the sadness in her life (a mother who abandoned India and her father), but also learns to understand and empathize with the sadness in the lives of those around her.

The book is beautifully written, well paced and short. There are a lot of issues to absorb in only 182 pages. I consider this a light book, because DiCamillo does not delve deeply into the histories of the supporting characters. She only lightly touches upon their heartaches and accomplishments in ways that compliment Winn-Dixie’s arrival and purpose in India’s life.

The chapters are short, making this a great book for the bedtime storytime for older kids. I think this is a book that adults can enjoy as well. There are a lot of mature issues subtly interwoven throughout the novel that can be dissected and discussed; single parenting, prejudice, death, friendship, loyalty, etc.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane – Review

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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Age: 8+

Edward Tulane is a china rabbit doll loved by a little girl named Abilene. On the journey from France to Abilene’s new home in the United States, Edward disappears from Abilene’s life, falling to the depths of the ocean floor. Edward’s journey leads him to new families, new experiences where he learns the meaning of love and loyalty.

This was one of the sweetest books I’ve come across in a long time. Anyone who adored the Velveteen Rabbit will enjoy this quick read. I loved the development and growth of Edward Tulane, as he changed owners throughout the book. Each little child loved him instantly, even though all three lived in completely different environments and circumstances. Some had thoughtful parents, some had cruel parents. Edward learned to love even if the one you love dies, and he learned to love, even if you will never see your friend again. This book incorporates valuable lessons on friendship, appearances, prejudices and more.

The Judith Ivey had a wonderful and even pace with a soft voice that enhances each character Edward comes across. Through accents, and mannerisms, Judith gently reflects how each child fell in love with Edward and how he eventually learned to love back.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
by Kate DiCamillo
Read by Judith Ivey
Random House, 2006
ISBN 0307245950
2 discs, 1 hour 56 minutes

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Find this book at your local library

The miraculous journey of Edward Tulane