I happen to have the ability to read aloud very well. God had to give me something, and He gave me the ability to entertain others with my read aloud capabilities. Whenever I introduce a new read to a group of students or teachers I always start by saying, "This. Is. My. Faaaaaavorite book. No. Really. It is. I'm not kidding." I say that about every book I read, so when I am asked by students, "What is your favorite book of all time?" I have trouble answering. Usually my favorite book is the new one I have in my hand at the time.
If I was told I had to live on a desert island and I could only take one book with me, it would not be the Bible (Sorry, my Christian friends). I have thought long and hard about this which is proof that I have no life! First, I am generally not a rule breaker, but in this case, I would be the one that would be caught trying to smuggle books in my underwear. If I had to pick only one book, it would be The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. I believe that this book should be required reading for every man, woman, and child. Every home should have a copy, preferably hardback because it has color illustrations. Every new mother should be given a copy. Every teacher should be required to read it to their class. It is quite surprising that I love this book so much. I am not a fan of the fantasy genre. I hate it when the animals talk, so I should despise the fact that the main character, Edward Tulane, is a china rabbit that communicates.
If students are asked what this book is about, they will reply, "It is about a china rabbit doll that is lost and found and lost and found and lost and found and lost and found and lost and found." But, if asked to think deeper and explain what the book is REALLY about I hope they will answer, "It is the answer to all life's questions. It is about love. It is about death. It is about reflection and change."
I love Edward Tulane. Edward Tulane would make a great man. He looks fine in his silk suits with all the regalia, but he can wear an old unravelling sweater or even a dress and look quite handsome. He doesn't have to be called Edward or Mr. Tulane. He is perfectly happy being called Malone, Jangles or even Susanna. Edward is reflective. He is aware of his flaws and willing to change. Edward will love you with every bit of his china being. Edward will follow you to ends of the earth. He will follow you to the stars. I heart Edward Tulane from the top of his furry, bendable ears to the tip of his cracked china toes.
Now, Edward wasn't always as wonderful as the picture I have painted. At one time he was a self-centered, vain, egotistical jerk. He cared about no one but himself, and only worried about whether or not his clothes would get wrinkled. But, Edward Tulane took a journey, and on this journey he learned important life lessons. The reason I am so smitten with Edward is that he experienced life, learned from his experiences, and made the choice to change. Change is never easy, especially, when it involves changing one's own ideas or philosophies. It takes a courageous person or rabbit to reflect, find fault, and fix it. Edward looked inwardly at the man or rabbit in the mirror and made the difficult choice to change.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a quick read, but I suggest it be read slowly because the disappointment of having no more of the book to read is a heavy burden. Get a hardback copy as soon as possible. Buy extra copies. Don't be ashamed to pull it out of your bag on the airplane. It can stand up to the best of the book chat books. Read it several times because new learning will be found each time it is read. Beware: Kleenex are required. I have read this book at least thirty times and I have cried every time. Go ahead and read it, and when you are done it is okay to shout, "I heart Edward Tulane!"
You have another thing coming, if you think that I am going to give up my number one spot on your "I love . . . . . ." list to a rabbit made of glass! I already have to share the spot with the slow one.
The Flip Side
Rabbit! Did someone say rabbit? Where?