Last summer a friend gave me a book to read. "I know you'll think this is crazy" she said 'but just read it". "Don't ask me why I'm giving it to you, don't think about what kind of book it is, just read it and then we'll talk."
Her sister had given it to her with the same instructions. She was, as was I, initially perplexed. Why would she have given me THIS book. But then she read it and understood. Luckily she shared it with all of her friends including me. I read her copy and then bought one of my own along with several copies for other friends. If I could, I'd insist that every person would be REQUIRED to read the book.
So why did my friend, and her sister before her, loan a book which they felt needed to come with a cautionary message?
Because it was a children's book. And I'm long past being a child ... at least chronologically.
When I say it's a children's book I suppose what I mean is that it was written as a children's book but the story, and the message, are ageless and timeless.
That book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, with beautiful illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline, won my heart.
For those of you without children - or whose children are long grown up like my own - you might recognize the name Kate DiCamillo as the author of the book on which a recent childrens' movie has been based, The Tale of Despereaux. People with young children will likely be familiar with DiCamillo's 'Mercy Watson' series of books as well as Because of Winn-Dixie.
There's lots of stuff in the entertainment news about Edward from The Twilight book series but it's a porcelain rabbit named Edward that won my heart.
Read it. No matter how old or young you are this is the book to read. "Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a rabbit ...."
And while you're at it check out Edward's website (yes, the porcelain rabbit has his own website) edwardtulane.com and Kate's website katedicamillo.com . Kate's journal section on her website is more than worth the read.