Saturday, January 30, 2010

book chat - The Magician's Elephant

"I wanted, I needed, I longed to tell a story of love and magic." - Kate DiCamillo

From this yearning came The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo. Goodness, what a wonderful writer. I feel lucky to be a reader of children's fiction, because I get to indulge in the wonder of the magnificent Kate DiCamillo. My book club finished The Tale of Despereaux yesterday and it was enjoyed by all. Every story she tells is magic. The magic of light, love, forgiveness, and empathy. The magic that is real.

The Magician's Elephant begins with a boy's visit to a fortune teller. He has felt the stirrings of hope and regret in his heart. He is an orphan, but despite what he has been told, he believes his little sister lives. He also feels a sorrow because she is lost in the world. The fortune teller answers that his sister is alive and that to find her he must follow the elephant. He knows then that he has wasted his money because there are no elephants!

Until a few nights later.....a magician is trying to make a bouquet of lilies appear and instead, an elephant comes crashing through the ceiling of the opera house.


Have any of you ever dreamt of an elephant? My mom has. But this is not surprising, she's pretty neat. In The Magician's Elephant, an old nun tells us that dreaming of an elephant is portentous. I love this. I love the idea that we can see things in our dreams, find answers in our dreams, meditate in our dreams. Last year Alan Wallace came to the Rime Center to teach about lucid dreaming and dream yoga. Now of course, if you know me, you know I'm doing the best I can to sit still and breathe. My practice is watching my daughter grow and not shouting at my husband. But oh, wouldn't it be fun to dream of elephants!

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