The Miraculous Journey

by Stefani on 15-July-2008

The Miraculous Journey

We do a lot of reading aloud in our house.

I like to claim it’s for the broadening of their minds, and that’s true, of course, but it’s also because a) I really like to read and b) I really like how they all sit still and quiet for just a few precious minutes when we’ve hit upon a really good story.

A week or two ago, we hit upon a REALLY good story.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate Dicamillo.

This story reads like a fairy tale. It seems old and wise – timeless and classic.

It is so beautifully written, and doesn’t speak down to children. In fact the vocabulary is pretty rich. Watching my boys listen to this story was like seeing a little one on his tip toes, reaching with all his might for the cookie jar. They were anxious for every last morsel, but stretching themselves to understand words that were just beyond their reach. Perfect.

My guys loved it so much that they would beg, “just one more chapter,” at bedtime, and then bring it to me first thing in the morning to read to them over breakfast. It’s that good.

I actually got so worked up over Edward’s journey that I read the last few pages through broken sobs. For real. I double dog dare you to read it outloud to your kids and not cry.

Of course, once we read about Edward, we found ourselves needing a rabbit to love.

My boys remembered these that I made for their cousin, and insisted that they make their own.

The pattern for the sock bunny is so easy though that they were able to help with most of the making, which means that our rabbit friends are kind of raggedy and a wee bit off, but loved all the more for it.

You can whip up an Edward rabbit with your littles using these easy directions.

Here’s hoping all his journeys are miraculous too!

maria July 15, 2008 at 6:54 pm

I now need to pick this book up and how damn cute is that picture of that little sock rabbit?

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary July 15, 2008 at 7:00 pm

We love that book!!! We discovered it last year and have read and re-read it many times. My boys just love it….even the 12 yr old. I cried at the end too. I told everyone I knew to read it. I hear that they are in the process of making it into a movie…not sure if that will be a good or bad thing.

heather jane July 15, 2008 at 7:09 pm

Ooh…we just finished the C.S. Lewis books and we need something new to read. Thanks for the suggestion. I can’t wait to read the book and I’m pretty sure we’ll need the bunny’s to go with.

Relyn July 15, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Oh, I love that book. It is next on our list for family read aloud, actually. The book I love more than that is Tales of Despereoux by the same author. Have you read it? It is in my top five greatest children’s books ever. Just amazing!

Relyn July 15, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Well, duh! You’ve read it. I just spotted it in your sidebar. Oops!

Sarah Jackson July 15, 2008 at 7:13 pm

Oh, we love that book. Annika reads it to herself now. Sniff. We just gave our handmade bunny to a cousin, so it must be time to make a new one.

franticallysimple July 15, 2008 at 7:33 pm

I love Kate DiCamillo! I read The Miraculous Journey to my daughter about a year ago. Great book. Have your read the Tale of Desperaux but the same author? Amazing. If you haven’t, you should. Before the movie comes out and ruins it. 🙂

franticallysimple July 15, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Oops – YOU and BY
not YOUR and BUT
Sophomoric giggling over “your but(t)”

Brittany July 15, 2008 at 8:49 pm

I love this book as well. Thanks for the rabbit directions, we were all huddled around the sliding door tonight watching a family of rabbits so this’ll be a nice project someday soon.

Annie July 15, 2008 at 9:20 pm

My DS is only 2.5, but I read this book to him out loud before bed a few months ago anyway. We also read the Tale of Desperaux, another good one that I highly recommend.

melmo July 15, 2008 at 9:51 pm

Yes, yes, yes, reading aloud. I love your description of reaching out for the cooking jar. I’m just now experiencing the power of a good story. So excited to see them develop. Always LOVE a recommendation on this sort of book, you described it perfectly and I want more of these in our collection, so thank you. Are you in the education philosophy of Charlotte Mason? My thoughts are a bit fragmented, but loving your writing and how perceptive you are of your family life and in particular your little ones.

Diahn July 15, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Oh, yes! I just read this book for myself – I’m a big Kate DiCamillo fan. My boys loved the read aloud we did of Winn Dixie a while back, and after I read Edward Tulane, from the library, I realized I was going to have to buy it and read it to them soon. It reminds me of my childhood favorite, “The Velveteen Rabbit.”

If you haven’t read the Mercy Watkins books, they are alot of fun too!!

molly July 15, 2008 at 10:33 pm

We listened to the book on cd last winter and I did cry! I only pick up bits and pieces when we listen to books that way, so perhaps we need to actually read it together. I’m getting kind of sick of Nancy Drew anyways.

Sarah July 16, 2008 at 5:54 am

I have such fond memories of my parents reading aloud to me and my sister and brothers. It’s such a wonderful chance to sit and just be together!

michele, FL July 16, 2008 at 6:23 am

I have two girls and they LOVED this book. I too had a hard time getting through the end. I just purchased another one of her books titled The Tiger Rising. I’ll let you know what I think!

Collins July 16, 2008 at 6:36 am

This book is one of my favorites too. I think it’s the perfect book to be read out loud! I read it last year to my 5th graders classroom, they loved it. I love all of her books. The Tale of Despereaux is wonderful too, you and the boys would love it.

Courtney July 16, 2008 at 6:55 am

oh great, I just chose it for my book club this month, it’s on hold for me at the library!

elissa July 16, 2008 at 7:02 am

“ragged and a wee bit off” sounds like you just described the whole finger clan. 🙂 will have to look for the book, sounds like some good curling up time for fall. thanks!

caroline July 16, 2008 at 7:14 am

LOVE DiCamillo. Very British, what what. If you like Desperaux and Edward Tulane, you might try the Redwall books by Brian Jaques. My son virtually drank them.

MadWomanMeg July 16, 2008 at 8:16 am

I just went and placed a hold on this book at the library. THanks for that 🙂 That sock rabbit is the cutest. I love sitting and reading aloud to my kids….can’t wait to read this my kids.

Katie July 16, 2008 at 8:55 am

As a homeschooling mom, I love to come across ideas like this, (great story with a craft) as it really seems to cement the whole experience in the child’s/parent’s memory.

Thanks!

miss chris July 16, 2008 at 10:17 am

How many endings have I read aloud and choked through? Cannot count. I’ll add Edward Tulane to that list soon, I’m sure. And seriously, that rabbit? You rock the sock rabbit.

Teresa July 16, 2008 at 11:02 am

I love a good book review, and surprisingly I haven’t heard of this one. We go to the library often, so our next trip we will have to check this one out! Very cute rabbit, by the way!

Carolyn July 16, 2008 at 12:51 pm

I just love books that you savor like that. I remember a few of those from my childhood. Thanks for the recommendation!

OMSH July 16, 2008 at 3:09 pm

I think we’re on this journey together. Um…guess what our night-time read is right now? Edward just sank to the bottom of the ocean – we’re all a bit misty about it.

OMSH July 16, 2008 at 3:09 pm

I think we’re on this journey together. Um…guess what our night-time read is right now? Edward just sank to the bottom of the ocean – we’re all a bit misty about it.

Michele July 16, 2008 at 5:16 pm

I read this to my kids a few years ago. We all loved it. Great choice!

Mandy July 17, 2008 at 7:29 am

I noticed someone already mentioned the Tale of Despareaux by the same author. Your boys would love that one too. It is even better on CD. We listened to it almost all last summer! Because of Winn Dixie is great on audio CD too!

Christine July 17, 2008 at 7:51 am

Oh, yes! Edward. We LOVED this story as well. After I read it aloud to my girls, we got the audio from the library and listened to it again. Have you discovered The Tale of Despereaux yet? It was the first book of DiCamillo’s that we read and is still our favorite.

leslie July 18, 2008 at 9:26 pm

i have this book but havent read it yet, thanks for inspiring me to start soon!

dianeinjapan July 22, 2008 at 9:48 pm

Oh, gosh–I can sooo tell that this book would get me choked up! I too love, love reading aloud to my kids–it’s one of my great joys, and something I really hope we’ll continue for a very long time.

Erin Glancy July 23, 2008 at 7:42 pm

Thank you for the book recommendation. We finished it tonight well after lights should have been out but I could not put it down and we all had to know the fate of Edward. Many of the final chapters were read through tears… it is an amazing story that I am certain we will return to again and again.

Linn August 3, 2008 at 2:58 pm

I cannot wait until my boys are old enough to enjoy great read-alouds! I totally understand about the sobbing while you read, as I did this many a time when I was teaching! I remember reading Where the Red Fern Grows and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and barely being able to get through it with myself and half of the class crying! Thanks for the memory.

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