My sister bought The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo for my son from a thrift store on the recommendation of my brother-in-law. My son read it first, and he loved it - and I mean loved it. He read it regularly for days, and he kept asking other times if he could read. This is not a regular occurrence for him. When he finished, he brought it to me and told me that I needed to read it. So I did. And realized that I’d read it before. It was written in 2006, when I was already in college, so I’m not sure when I read it, but at some point I did. I liked it this time just as much as the first.
Edward Tulane is an elegant china rabbit. He thinks very highly of himself, and he believes that he deserves the admiration and love of his owner, a ten-year-old girl named Abilene. He does not return her love, and, honestly, he doesn’t feel much of anything except vanity. Edward is forced to change when he is accidentally tossed into the ocean. This begins his eponymous journey. Edward learns love and loss before finding his own happy ending.
I liked this book better than I thought I would. I especially liked it as a children’s book. As far as I can tell, it is based during the Great Depression. He is originally owned by a well-off family before being found by a fisherman, a hobo, a old woman, and a little boy. Through his various owners, Edward learns how to feel. My son saw an adventure story, but I saw the message. Life isn’t worth living without love. It may hurt to lose a loved one, but there is always more love to be found. As I read, I felt Edward’s heartbreak and the growth of his hope. I loved the message of this book, and I think it’s a great one for children. Life is hard sometimes. Sometimes we love people we love. I’d actually amend that to say often. People die; that’s part of life. But that doesn’t mean we need to spiral downward into depression and isolation. We can always enjoy old and new relationships despite how they end or begin.