Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Magician's Elephant (review)

Sometimes I miss the sense of childlike wonder that kids have. Last night one of my little cousins was making up a tall-tell about his mother making him pay rent. The fiction just flew from his lips naturally. It's like the realm of make-believe lives right below the surface and kids can jump in anytime without any effort.

Maybe that's why I keep falling for sweet innocent books that remind me of fairytales. Maybe I'm trying to recapture something I've lost along the path to adulthood. Whatever the reason I love books like Goose Girl, Princess Academy and the latest, The Magician's Elephant.

It's such a sweet beautiful little book. The book contains a magic that my normal YA can never capture. It's the magic of being a 10-year-old child where the world is so big and anything is possible.

The Magician's Elephant completely charmed me. The language is whimsical and witty. It manages to be poetic and unobtrusive. It's simply perfect and I can't imagine the book being written any other way. As I read, I kept hearing a gentle lyrical voice (think of the Pushing Daisies narration) reading the story to me. Almost every page had a clever or poetic phrase. Never have I been so grateful for my Kindle highlighting feature and I'm not typically an underliner.
"Looking out over the city, Peter decided that it was a terrible and complicated thing to hope, and that it might be easier, instead to despair.
The book has an usual premise, a little boy named Peter spends his bread money at a fortuneteller because he wants the truth. The truth he gets is wonderful, yet impossible His sister, who his guardian said was stillborn, lives. She lives! We get the sense of joy and responsibility that Peter feels towards his sister immediately. First he needs to find her. The fortuneteller says the elephant will show him the way. But there are no elephants anywhere near where Peter lives so the wonderful beautiful hope he is given seems cruelly impossible.

Lucky for Peter, this is a book that believes in the impossible.

The Magician's Elephant is a hopeful story. I think all ages will appreciate the beautiful poetic language and deceptively simple story. The story manages to capture the wonder of a child and a child's audacity to believe in the impossible.
What are we to make of a world where stars shine bright in the midst of so much darkness and gloom?
It's hard to do this book justice. The Magician's Elephant is a bright, shining, audaciously hopeful book. It's a joy to read And I know it'll be a regular re-read. I loved the feeling of reading this book and I know I'll want to experience that again. The book is magic. For a brief few pages it gave me back my childhood, my sense of wonder and reminded the word is a very big, impressive and magical place. And that maybe, just maybe, believing in the impossible is the best way to live.

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