Kate DiCalimo is the “it girl” of the children’s lit world and I must admit that I have not read anything since the release of Because of Winn Dixie and my next best encounter with her was dramatically pressing the power off button to my DVD player an hour into the atrocity that is The Tale of Despereaux film.
A copy of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane ended up on my desk last week. I schlepped this and a number of other books to Jersey City to one of my schools. Per usual, the PATH train was incapable of functioning properly (my secret hypothesis as to why each and every New Yorker loathes New Jersey) so I picked up this book. Number one reason why: little trim size, big font, even bigger margins. Therefore I could possibly finish it by the time this silly train got its act together. Candlewick sure does know how to sell a novella for the price of a novel. Alas, I did not finish it in my thirty minute train ride which means I was forced to sneak it into my purse because there was no way I was not finishing this beautiful book.
This book is why people work so hard to share the pleasures of children’s books to adults. This book about a china rabbit is so stunningly, intimately, human. It spans the gap, that we so love to stretch to its limits, between childhood and adulthood. It’s a person book. A love book. A resilience book. Almost everything I have to say about it reveals too much, for, indeed, it is very short but I will say that it supports a concept that everyone can grow from knowing, no matter their age. In fact, it is a book about growing in itself. And I am in no way ashamed that I was seen shedding a few tears on the 4 train while holding its painted white rabbit cover.