Happy is important.
I love to read children's books; Harry Potter, Black Beauty, Capt. Underpants (yes, Captain Underpants!), the Magic Treehouse series, Artemis Fowl, etc. The list is endless, and each one brings me a fresh perspective. No matter how hard life can be, a simple, funny, sweet story full of optimism dislodges the adult-induced stress from my brain.
Kate DiCamillo is one of my favorite children's book authors. I have several of her books in first edition/first printing, and I cherish them. 'The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane' brings me to tears every time I read it. I was overjoyed to learn that her new book, 'Flora and Ulysses' was finally available at the library! Seriously. Overjoyed!
It's quite different from her previous stories. Not that that's a bad thing, of course. It's full of love and optimism, superheroes and hope. It has a squirrel and a little girl who loves him. It has a selfish mother who really, really pissed me off, and a gentle father who needed his daughter more than he thought. It also has a potential friend, William Spiver, who thinks he's blind, and his great-aunt, Tootie, who is a true marvel.
But it's Flora and Ulysses who are the center of this wonderful story.
Flora is a cynic, living with her author mother (she write romance stories). Flora's parents are divorced, and she sees her father on a regular basis. When she looks out her window one day, she sees her neighbor, Tootie, outside, chasing down her gift from her husband: A huge vacuum cleaner! A poor little squirrel gets in the way, and is soon sucked into the machine. Flora's quick thinking saves the little guy...and the adventure begins.
|Author Kate DiCamillo|
|Illustrator K.G. Campbell|
They have given us the gift of an exciting, heartbreaking (in some spots) story.
But, most of all, it's wonderful.
I hope that DiCamillo and her illustrator, K. G. Campbell, turn this into a series. I'll be first in line to read it.
Flora and Ulysses' is available at your library and local bookstore. ISBN 9780763660406. Give it a read and watch your perspective change for the better!