THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT by Kate DiCamillo
“Magic is always impossible,” said the magician. “It begins with the impossible and ends with the impossible and is impossible in between. That is why it is magic.”
Peter is an orphan living with his guardian, the old soldier Vilna Lutz who is training him to be a soldier brave and true. One day, when sent out to buy some fish, Peter happens across a fortune teller. She tells him his sister is still alive and that an elephant will lead him to her. But there are no elephants in Baltese. Is this just a fortune teller’s trick? Who should Peter believe? In another part of the city, a magician accidently conjures an elephant and sends it crashing onto Madam La Vaughn, crippling her, and is jailed for his actions. Intricate and sensitive characters and their relationships weave a captivating fable set in a dream-like landscape and time. “The Magician’s Elephant” tells a story of belonging, longing, discovery of the truth and the magnificient possibilties in the impossibility of magic. A perfect tale for young and old alike.
Reviewed by Mary Esther Judy