The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

by Kate DiCamillo

Hardcover, 2006

Status

Available

Local notes

Fic DiC

Barcode

127

Collection

Publication

Candlewick (2006), 200 pages

Description

Edward Tulane, a cold-hearted and proud toy rabbit, loves only himself until he is separated from the little girl who adores him and travels across the country, acquiring new owners and listening to their hopes, dreams, and histories.

Awards

Boston Globe–Horn Book Award (Winner — Fiction & Poetry — 2006)
Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Children's Fiction — 2008)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — Grades 3-5 — 2007)

Original language

English

Original publication date

2006 (1e édition originale américaine)
2007-10-04 (1e traduction et édition française, Histoires éternelles, Tourbillon)

Physical description

200 p.; 7.33 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member disturbingfurniture
Perhaps the most unintentionally disturbing children's books ever written.

A lot of these reviews have started the same way I want to start mine, by saying that I really have enjoyed DiCamillo's other books (Well, Mercy Watson was a piffle, but it was fine for what it was). Winn Dixie is a personal
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favorite. This book, however, is troubling. The illustrations and book design are fabulous, comforting, and inviting; the story moves along at a good pace and the language is strong and visual. All other aspects are brutal, bizarre, and disturbing.

I am writing this review in a way to settle the book in my mind before discussing it with a group of students at my library. I want to see what the target audience thinks. {note: they didn't think much of it. They thought Pellegrina creepy and they didn't understand the Sarah Ruth episode at all}. Adults seem to either hate it or love it.

My first problem with the book is that I am not sure children will feel any kinship with Edward. What child needs to learn to love? Love and devotion are emotions kids demonstrate early in life. They love their parents, their friends, their toys...it's only when they grow up that society tells them love is complex and has to be earned or learned. Why does Edward have to be tossed off an ocean liner, buried under garbage, crucified, and have his head shattered to "learn to love"?

Second problem: what is up with Grandma Pellegrina? Everyone else treats Edward like the toy he is. His owners and friends talk to him, but they don't seem to expect a response. No one else sees his self-involvement and lack of feelings (these are only apparent in his thoughts since he doesn't talk). Pellegrina who "was responsible for Edward's existence" seems to know his mind. "You disappoint me" she whispers to him. Is she God? Edward certainly becomes a Christ figure when he's nailed up to scare the crows. Pellegrina also says there can be no happy ending without love--Edward gets his happy ending after being chewed up and spit out by "life." So Pellegrina's words are reinforced by the book as a whole. If she is God she is a frightfully Deistic and cold version of the creator.

At first I thought this was like "The Mouse and his Child" by Hoban or "Hitty, Her First Hundred Years" by Field (in fact some say, Hitty makes an appearance at THIS book's end) but I think it has more in common with Peter Pan, another book that really doesn't fit in a child's world (Children aren't like Peter, they desperately want to grow up as quickly as possible)...this is a pointed and manipulative story created to make adults feel nostalgic for their childhood.

I also have a little trouble believing that Sarah Ruth's doll can shatter so easily and Edward can smash into the ocean from the deck of the Queen Mary, remain unbroken under mounds of garbage, and survive being kicked from a moving train...but I suppose that's a little thing.

If Anne Rice had written "The Velveteen Rabbit" ... I think this is near to what she would have come up with.
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LibraryThing member maggiereads
Quite baffled, I finished the book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. I was looking for a fun read-aloud, full of adventure, for third through fifth graders. What I found was a story brimming with Christian symbols of Easter. Not at all what I would say a “pleasure to
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read aloud” unless you like the tissue inducing sniffle sound.

Our hero, Edward Tulane, is a rabbit commissioned by a grandmother for wealthy young Abilene. His china body is delicately white and hollow with beautiful fur ears and tail. His intelligent eyes shine sea-blue but his calm exterior mask a flawed personality. Edward is unable to love, instead preferring to fuss and preen with his own finery.

What makes Edward uncaring? Mistress Abilene extends quality time to him every morning. Paying extra attention to straightening his hat before leaving the house to attend school, she places Edward in the head-of-the-house chair, where he awaits her happy return. He is never alone, as she sets a pocket watch on his lap to help pass the hours. Abilene loves Edward.

Sound like a sweet unassuming story, right? I mean a child could read the book and cry a little when Sarah Ruth dies and move on. The pre-teen may never see the Christian parallels because they remain understated. Therefore, I do see the need to read it aloud between adult and child, but not to a classroom.

Author Kate DiCamillo never admits to the real nature of the book in interviews. She does state that children can handle death and it should not be a forbidden subject. She even tells reporters she wrote Edward’s story before her Newbery Medal winner, The Tale of Despereaux, but waited to publish it. She was afraid fans would not take to Edward’s plight otherwise.

With success comes confidence and DiCamillo instructed her publishers to release the book for spring, a season coinciding with Easter celebrations. If you do chose to read it with children, please scan it first alone. This will help you explain Edward’s sad body on the cross. The illustration by Bagram Ibatoulline is quite haunting.

Edward’s miraculous journey starts when he falls overboard an ocean liner in the Atlantic. It is here, where the china rabbit becomes a metaphor for man lost at sea. I do not feel Edward represents Jesus rather us sinful humans. Then again, you may read the book and decide; hey, he’s just a bunny.
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LibraryThing member deannalmartin
This book is like a roller coaster ride of the life of a china rabbit. It is almost a look into what it could be like to be a foster child roaming from family to family. This books has several highs and several lows but it is definately a page turner that you won't want to put down.
LibraryThing member BrynDahlquis
I...was not expecting this. Even though I know Kate DiCamillo is fantastic and I have enjoyed every other thing I've read by her, for whatever reason I wasn't expecting to be so touched and enthralled with Edward Tulane.

But it is so. good.

I almost cried.

Please read this.
LibraryThing member revslick
a beautiful tale of love and loss and love again
LibraryThing member momofthreewi
This is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read aloud to my children. It's touching, heartwarming and even heartbreaking at times. My children were riveted when we read it together and couldn't wait for reading time each night to see what would happen to Edward next. Don't miss sharing
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this unique, beautiful book with your own family.
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LibraryThing member SweetKokoro
This was beautiful, sad, and heartwarming all rolled into one. Edward truly does go on a miraculous journey though life. What I truly enjoyed most was the realness of how everyone reacts differently to toys. From the little girls who loved Edward dearly to the homeless people who shared their
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secrets with him, and the young boy who lost is sister and then lost his one last connection to his sister. This was truly beautiful. Each character that Edward crossed paths with had a different vision for him, and it shows how one toy can really be anything depending on who currently has them.
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LibraryThing member mgillis
A beautiful china rabbit by the name of Edward Tulane was once owned by a 10-year-old girl named Abilene. Abilene loved Edward very much. However, Edward didn't love anybody but Edward. Then, one day Abilene loses Edward and his life is changed forever.

As Edward's journey takes him from one owner
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to the next, he learns what it means to be lost and to lose, to be sacrificed and to sacrifice, to be loved and, finally, to love.

Nathan needed a little time alone in the mall just before Christmas so I entertained myself in Borders while I waited for him to finish his shopping. I had read some great reviews of this book so I picked it up and turned to the first page. I was almost halfway through the book when I realized I needed to go. I couldn't help myself. Really. I had to finish the book... so I got in line, paid for it and took it with me. I finished the book later that night.

It is such a wonderful children's book! The whimsical idea of an arrogant china rabbit finding out what it means to love is interwoven with the serious melancholy of Edward's loneliness and longing for home. It's clear message unpretentiously teaches readers that love is boundless and painful, and it's the only thing worth having in this world.
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LibraryThing member Omrythea
Well, a lot of people love this book. It seems really popular with the kids. So, this is obviously a great addition to a library collection. However, I have to say that I found the rabbit to be awfully whiny and pathetic. Edward was such an unlikable character that I had trouble caring what
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happened to him.
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LibraryThing member phoenixcomet
Edward Tulane is a stuck up china rabbit despite being loved by his owner, Abilene. On a trans-atlantic journey, Edward flies overboard and falls to the bottom of the sea, only to be rescued by a fisherman who gives him to his wife. The fisherman's wife loves "Susannah" and Edward begins to learn
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to love. Over the years he travels with a hobo and his dog, and acts as a scarecrow, is stolen by a little boy and given to his dying sister, ends up broken and repaired, and ultimately coming full circle by coming home again. It's a wonderful tale of love and heartbreak, hope and dreams, and learning to love again.
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LibraryThing member dfullmer
sweet tale of a ceramic rabbit that loses his owner and learns how to love.
LibraryThing member bettyjo
The best children's book I have read in years. Edward Tulane is a GREAT character.
LibraryThing member ricasiskind
I read it aloud to Cleo (7) and Isabel (10) and was very annoyed the whole time. Cleo was in a state of anxiety from about page 25 on, and therefore, it was difficult to find a place to stop for the night. I think she was identifying with the children who kept losing the rabbit, as there was little
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to identify with in the rabbit himself. "Poor children!"
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LibraryThing member Osbaldistone
"Edward Tulane" is a parable about learning to love, learning compassion, and then learning to love even knowing that it could lead to being hurt. DiCamillo is a marvelous story-teller, excercising tremendous control of the story. "Edward Tulane" reads like the layers of an onion being carefully
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and deliberately peeled back as Edward grows in his ability to love. A wonderful book to read with your late-toddler to pre-teen child, but also a great read for anyone with a heart.
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LibraryThing member Catnelson
Edward Tulane, a cold-hearted and proud toy rabbit, loves only himself until he is separated from the little girl who adores him and travels across the country, acquiring new owners and listening to their hopes, dreams, and histories
LibraryThing member TheTwoDs
The most wonderful children's book we have read in a long time. This story of learning how to love and be loved, and how to lose yet overcome loss, should be a classic for all time. You too will feel the Edward is real and experience the emotions he is learning to appreciate for the first time. In
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addition to the beautiful, and not overly simplistic, writing, the illustrations bring to life the world inhabited by this extraordinary china rabbit. We cannot wait to read this to our future children.
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LibraryThing member tamora
This is a story of a porcelin rabbit who doesn't appreciate his wonderful home until he loses it.
Although this is a children's book, this can be thoroughly enjoyed on an adult level. It has much to say about the concepts of being loved, being human,and home.
And it's a chapter book that cries out to
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be read aloud to a young child.
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LibraryThing member virginiahomeschooler
This is by far my favorite of Dicamillo's works. It makes a fantastic family read-aloud book. My copy is a slightly (well, maybe a little more than slightly) tear-stained, but it will always have a special place on my bookshelves.
LibraryThing member bplma
Although Edward- a china rabbit- enjoys a very comfortable existence being well loved and cared for by a wealthy young girl, he is a cold, disinterested creature, lacking in empathy and unable to feel love. Things change quickly for Edward, however, when he is lost at sea and begins his journey
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from one owner to another, traveling over land and through time and economic circumstance. DiCamillo pulls us into the story and we feel with edward as he travels to lonely but kindhearted fishermen and sick and poverty stricken young children; we travel the country with him, through the different locales and lives of his various owners, and as Edward's luck rises and falls, he becomes more and more empathetic and sympathetic, and more and more real. A truly remarkable story;well crafted and beautifully written. A great read aloud. Grades 2-5. 04/07.
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LibraryThing member bibliophile26
A china rabbit's long journey to find love. Beautiful illustrations, but the story is kind of forced. My favorite book of hers will always be The Tale of Despereaux.
LibraryThing member 1morechapter
This is a wonderful story about learning to love. I listened to it on audio CD, read by Judith Ivey--who did an outstanding job. The audio is only 2 hours--so I highly recommend it even to those who are time-challenged.
LibraryThing member abbylibrarian
Edward Tulane, a china rabbit belonging to a little girl named Abilene, does not love anyone or anything except himself. He's extremely vain, snobby, and ill-tempered (although no one can tell except Abilene's grandmother because Edward can't move himself or speak out loud). Then one day he's
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accidentally dropped overboard a ship and spends several months at the bottom of the sea before a storm picks him up and deposits him in the net of a fisherman. Although he would have been mortified that the fisherman's wife dresses him up as a girl and calls him "Susannah", Edward is grateful for any attention after being in the mud at the bottom of the ocean for so long. And after awhile, the couple begins to grow on him. His journey continues after that, being picked up by a hobo and his dog, being used as a scarecrow in a garden, being given to a very sick, very poor little girl, and so on. And yes, Edward learns how to love.

This seems to be a love-it or hate-it book... and having listened to the audiobook, I think I am falling on the love-it side. The narrator was fantastic and I think it was just the right kind of story for a beginning-of-summer car trip through the fields of Indiana. Perfect example of the right book at the right time.
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LibraryThing member r13
This book really made me become a DiCamillo fan. I love the fantasy of this book and how it comes around full circle. There are a lot of great life lessons in this book and it would be a great read aloud.
LibraryThing member extrajoker
first line: "Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a rabbit who was made almost entirely of china."

I bought The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and read it in one night. The author, Kate diCamillo, also wrote The Tale of Despereaux (which I have read), Because of Winn-Dixie (which I
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have not), and a few others. This story -- about a sentient porcelain-faced toy bunny who learns to love -- touches on many dark themes (e.g., loneliness, alchoholism, death, violence), but is ultimately hopeful. The sad scenes made me cry...but then again, so did the happy ending. The smooth writing lends itself well to reading aloud (assuming you're not a sap like me whose voice will crack and fall off during the especially sad bits). And the illustrations (including several full-color plates) are beautiful.
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LibraryThing member martyb
The first thing that strikes you about the book is the illustrations which have a
Garth Williams quality about them.
They hark from a different era, as does the writing that tells the story of a haughty china rabbit who is lost at sea and goes through a succession of owners, in the process learning
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to love and appreciate each of his new owners. The story has some of the same "messages" and tone as Charlotte's Web, but comes across as less artful and a tad more didactic than the latter. Even so, it is a well-written, fast-paced book with short chapters and lots of child appeal. I think it should be in every children's collection. It would make a super read aloud selection.
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Pages

200

Rating

(1276 ratings; 4.3)
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