"The Magician's Elephant" by Kate DiCamillo

Every once in a while, I come across a book that, even before I have turned the first page to the second, I know it will be pure magic. I know that I will hate for it to end. I know that it will be one of my favorites ever.

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo is just such a book.

I have fallen in love with orphan Peter Augustus Duchene, the boy hero of the story, his missing sister Adele, an elephant whose name I wouldn't understand, and Leo and Gloria Matienne, the police officer and his wife who, while childless, have all the love in the world in their hearts to give .

Now, I could go on gushing, but that would do a disservice to this magical, beautiful, hope and wonder-filled book. But instead, I will let Ms. DiCamillo's words do the job for me. Here are some of my very favorite quotes...
"Leo Matienne had the soul of a poet, and because of this, he liked very much to consider questions that had no answers. He liked to ask, 'What if?' and 'Why not?' and 'Could it possibly be?'"
* * * * *
"Magic is always impossible," said the magician. "It begins with the impossible and ends with the impossible and is impossible in-between. That is why it is magic."
* * * * *
"Beyond the alley, past the public parks and the police station, up a steep and tree-lined hill, stood the home of the count and countess Quintet, and in that mansion, in the darkened ballroom, stood the elephant.

She should have been sleeping, but she was awake.

The elephant was saying her name to herself.

It was not a name that would make sense to humans. It was an elephant name—a name that her brothers and sisters knew her by, a name that they spoke to her in laughter and in play. It was the name that her mother had given to her and that she spoke to her often and with love.

Deep within herself, the elegant said this name, her name, over and over again.

She was working to remind herself of who she was. She was working to remember that, somewhere, in another place entirely, she was known and loved."
There are so many brilliant lines, so much magic in this book, that one really must experience it for oneself. Do yourself a favor: drop what you are doing right now, and go get yourself this book. If you have a Kobo, get it here, like I did. But whatever you need to do to get your hands on it, you won't be sorry.