Tag Archives: bedtime stories

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo, 2006, Book Review

edward tulaneThis is an adorable novel with the sweetly nostalgic feel of an old classic, which Bagram Ibatoulline intensifies with his stunning illustrations. It reminded me greatly of Margery William’s The Velveteen Rabbit. I would estimate the independent reading level suitable for tweens, but the story is a fabulous read-aloud for children as young as four and five, who would probably appreciate it more.

Edward is a large, china rabbit doll beloved by a little girl. But Edward is proud and arrogant and does not return Abilene’s love. And then one day he is lost at the bottom of the sea. After many long months he passes into the hands of a fisherman and his wife only to be lost again. He changes hands many times and meets many people, and eventually Edward learns to love. Lonely hobos whisper the names of their children in his ear. A sick child nearly hugs him to death “and it felt good.” But each time, loss follows love. “I have learned to love,” Edward claims, “and it’s a terrible thing.” He wishes for wings to fly from the pain. Yet again and again his hope returns.

Edward’s story is a human one. We love people and we lose them, and love is all the sweeter for our pain. Separation through death, or divorce, or anything else is a difficult process, even for adults. Edward will help children begin to understand and process this difficult life lesson. He will encourage readers to hope, to never give up, and to continue to love. Because, as a wise old doll once said, “If you have no intention of loving or being loved, then the whole journey is pointless.”

I highly recommended The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Purchase it to read before bed with your little one.

The Great Fuzz Frenzy, by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Grummel, 2005, Book Review

the great fuzz frenzyI discovered this fabulous picture book a few years ago with my middle son and we both loved it. Now my youngest son asks me to read it again and again. And I oblige, because it’s one of those rare books that never wears out no matter how many times you read it. The pictures are brilliant and funny, and the text just rolls out in a fun, quirky, “fuzzy” tumble.

The Great Fuzz Frenzy takes place in a prairie dog hole. Before the text begins, pictures show a great big golden retriever dropping a tennis ball down the hole. It bumps and it rumbles all the way to the bottom, and the prairie dogs don’t know what to make of it. Till young Pip touches it, and some of the yellow fuzz gets caught in her claw.

This prompts the frenzy indicated in the title. Every prairie dog wants fuzz. They “pulled it. Puffed it. Stretched it. Fluffed it. Tugged it. Twirled it. Spiked it. Swirled it” until the fuzz ran out, and the dogs began fighting each other for the limited supply.

In the end, the prairie dogs learn what really matters, the villain becomes the hero, and everyone swears off fuzz. But trouble threatens again in the very last picture.

I guarantee young kids will love this. Probably many of the older ones as well. My middle son still sits in on readings. I highly recommend you look up a copy!