The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

The Miraculous Journey of Edward TulaneThe Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a modern-day Velveteen Rabbit story.

Poor Edward. He was loved by so many, but had trouble loving in return . . . at least until it was too late.

Love hurts, as the china rabbit learns so well.

While the ending was telegraphed, it was so good.

A quick easy fun read.
****
This year we read this as a read-aloud. My students loved it!

I had forgotten this story making me wonder if if I had read it at all. At the end, when Edward is with Lucius it all came back.

DiCamillo is a master storyteller. Her use of triads is stunning. She is able to tap into sorrow really well.

I struggled with my emotions on this. One of my students asked if I needed a tissue. I think they were taken aback that their teacher became emotional. The ending to this is so special, even if you know it’s coming.

Read this!
****
This year’s class bonded with this book better than previous groups. We delved into the storyteller mechanisms employed here and the wonderful use of language DiCamillo uses.

I tried to end the book one chapter early. As I reasoned with the students, leaving off with “hope” should be good enough for the reader. Lots of books end that way. Of course, the students wanted to read the last chapter. 🙂 It seems to me children need that chapter; it is the tangible they need.

One student, upon realizing it was Abilene, had a state of shock on his face. That alone made it worth tearing up in front of my students.

This is what I long for when I create stories.
****
Love this story!

Once again, I tried to convince my students we needed to end this book a chapter early. We have hope. That is all that is needed. They begged to complete it. I wonder if this is universal. Do we humans have to have complete resolution? Can we not end with mere hope? We must bust through! And we did.

Once again, one of my students (a boy who I had not expected to be as shocked) provided the visual expression that is my payoff for crying in front of my students. It is inevitable.

The passage of the doll scolding Edward at the doll shop in chapter twenty-six shares the message of the book:
If you have no intention of loving or being loved, then the whole journey is pointless. You might as well leap from the shelf right now and let yourself shatter into a million pieces. Get it over with. Get it all over with now.


Indeed!
****
It is interesting how this book has developed for me over the years. It, as I shared with this year’s students, is one of my favorites . . . not just of children’s stories, but of all stories.

This year’s students are COVID students. It’s been such a struggle. The reality is that they are not at the same place other students are. It’s a shame. Here in June, I am just now seeing what I am used to with fourth grade students. But I am enjoying the end of this year because of it.

This is the first group, I believe, that predicted the ending. We had focused on Edward’s repetition of Abilene, Lawrence, Nellie, Lucy, Bull, Abilene. Toss in Bryce and Sarah Ruth after Bull and you have to see the ending coming.

A basic skills teacher shared with me that the girls she takes from my room spoke of how much they loved this book. I heard other students discussing the story at other times of the day. This made an impact upon these students.

This was the first time I read this book since the divorce. It took on a whole new dimension for me in light of that. The green satin doll’s scolding was as if she were addressing me. I did indeed cry.

And once again, a boy (one who acts all tough and has been a PITA this year) provided the payoff. Seeing the moment when it pieced together, when the pocket watch was revealed was confirmation that I had taught this tale correctly. I will never tire of those moments when the lightbulb turns on.

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