The Magician’s Elephant / Gajah Sang Penyihir [Kate DiCamillo]


Kate DiCamillo (2009)
Gramedia
Children Novel
978-979-22-4943-9
Gramedia GI – IDR22,500
(disc 10%)

I like the book a lot. It’s not as merry as the other kid’s books of my favourite, but this one definitely gives a magical story. I was firstly impressed with the cover which is cold and a little mysterious, but so gentle and smooth in strokes thanks to Yoko Tanaka, the illustrator. The illustrations for this book are great like those of classical stories.

Peter Duchene has only one florit in his pocket. He can spend it to buy bread as commanded by Vilna Lutz, or, in front of Peter, there’s a place to find the truth which also costs one florit. A fortune-teller. One truth, Peter needs to know if his sister is dead or alive. For that, he’s willing to go against Vilna Lutz’ command. The answer to his question is odd. The fortune-teller told Peter to follow the elephant if he wants to find his sister. But there’s no elephant in Baltese!

Well, there wasn’t, until a magician came and brought an elephant to flow in through the ceiling of the opera house right on the leg of Madam La Vaughn, who expected a flower bouquet but lost her leg on that incident instead. From there the story went on with interesting characters, bizarre storyline, all packed in goodness that would change the lives of everyone involved in the story, including the elephant itself.

Who’s Kate DiCamillo? We’re probably more familiar with her earlier books such as “The Tale of The Desperaux” and “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane”, both of which I never read but seen on popular shelves of big bookstores. I have the other one “Tiger Rising”, which also contains bitterness with happy ending in it. More about Ms DiCamillo can be read from here and www.themagicianselephant.com.

The book is world-widely released on September 8, 2009 and I own the Bahasa version. I won’t be surprised if this book will become a classical read for all ages someday ;)

Read the English excerpt from here.

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