Squirrels, Cynics, and Superheroes

I promise to always turn back toward you.

Holy Bagumba!  It’s Wednesday and I’m writing Tuesday’s post.  Wow.  Maybe I, too, am living in denial.  Better yet, I’m trying to break into Rachel’s alternate universe—something tells me there’s a soft place to land there with books a plenty and ginger snaps that don’t sit on the hips.  A girl can dream, right?  

Speaking of dreaming…I wish I were Kate DiCamillo right about now.  DiCamillo is a rock star in the children’s book cosmos.  She’s a natural, so it’s no surprise she earned the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature title for 2014-2015.

Books like Because of Winn Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and now Flora & Ulysses have enrapt children and adults alike.  She is a decorated and delightful author.  If you haven’t read DiCamillo, you really should.  

I highly recommend meeting both Flora and Ulysses—they’re as endearing as they are eccentric.  In fact, the precocious 11-year-old cynic and her superhero squirrel have made the tough task of getting my boys up the stairs to dress for bed a piece of cake.  (Cake makes me think of Ulysses, whose appetite is as big as his desire to type poetry.)  My fifty-something husband took ardent offense one night when we had the gall to read this story without him.  He, along with the rest of us, has laughed out loud as we moved through this captivating tale involving a vacuum cleaner, superheroes, a little shepherdess lamp, spy advice, giant donuts, and love.  Oh, and seal blubber!  Did I mention there are pictures of this dynamic duo?  The novel is intermingled with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black and white and wit.  

It’s no wonder Flora & Ulysses was an instant New York Times Bestseller, a 2013 Parent’s Choice Gold Award Winner, and a 2014 Newbery Medal winner.  Let’s say you only love The Illuminated Adventures half as much as we do—you’ll still be an indisputable fan of an unlikely (and unforgettable) friendship.

P.S. Can’t wait to read DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale—it goes on sale April 12th, 2016!

Posted by Tracy