The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
I didn’t grow up with barbies but I did have a teddy bear, Christopher. Christopher wasn’t much of a talker but he was a great listener. Never one to judge, he would just sit there staring at me with his big brown eyes, listening and at the end of my crying or ranting there was always a hug waiting. Keep reading…
Edward Tulane is cold-hearted and very vain. Not the best qualities in a person let alone a toy rabbit made almost entirely out of china. He loved only himself until one day he was separated from the only one who loved him, seven-year-old Abilene. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is written by my favorite author of all times Kate DeCamillo and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline. Lost, Edward encounters a cast of characters; their individual stories, hopes and dreams sets Edward on a road to redemption and teaches him a valuable lesson in love. The theme of the book is best summarized by the passage within: “If you have no intention of loving or being loved, then the whole journey is pointless.” (p. 189. Yup it’s that long of a book, 198 pages long)
An idea for a story is like a gift, unexpected and mysterious. The story for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane was literally a gift, “One Christmas, I received an elegantly dressed toy rabbit as a gift. I brought him home, placed him on a chair in my living room, and promptly forgot about him. A few days later, I dreamed that the rabbit was face-down on the ocean floor – lost, and waiting to be found. In telling The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, I was lost for a good long while, too. And then, finally, like Edward, I was found.”
Scattered through out The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane are realistic drawings created by Bagram Ibatoulline, small sepia drawings and large full colour illustrations. Wonderful details captured with a fine point brush and acrylic gouache. The details and historical accuracy of each illustration was thoroughly researched. As part of Ibatoulline’s illustration process, he does “a lot of groundwork and extensive research on the time period in order to come up with my own approach or style for a book that I can relate to and use naturally, I have a big reference library, and when that’s not enough, I turn to public libraries and private sources.” The amount of work and care Bagram Ibatoulline puts into his work shows. There is a craftsmanship to both Kate DeCamillo’s and Bagram Ibatoulline’s work that is very rare in children’s books these days. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a solid story, a good story, and one that will last.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, a children’s book review by Thao Lam
Author Kate DiCamillo
Kate DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 25, 1964. Suffering from chronic pneumonia, DiCamillo moved to Clermont, Florida where the weather was warmer with her mom and older brother at the age of 5, her father stayed behind. She received her English degree at the University of Florida and worked various jobs upon graduation. At the age of 30 she was offered a job in Minneapolis, which turned out to be the most critical move of her career. Working in a book warehouse, surrounded by children’s books, DiCamillo was inspired to write. It was a great place to network; she had the opportunity to meet sales representatives for Candlewick Press, resulting in a submission for her first book, Because of Winn-Dixie.
Discover other books written by Kate DiCamillo, listed on her website www.katedicamillo.com
Illustrator Bagram Ibatoulline
There is very little info on Bagram Ibatoulline. I did learn that he was born in Omsk, Russia, and educated at the State Academic Institute of Arts in Moscow. Upon graduation he worked in fine arts, graphic arts, mural design, and textile design. I wished he had a website so I can show you more of his lovely work but sadly no. If anyone out there has any info, please share.
Publisher Candlewick (February 14, 2006)