“I write in my house, at my desk where I have Christmas lights strung over it to try and convince me that I’m having a good time. I can’t really write anywhere else.” Kate DiCamillo
I adore this funny quote by the impeccable Kate DiCamillo, especially as I just hung a cheery flag banner over my own desk. Kate’s newest release is FLORA & ULYSSES, and I’m about to read it for the second time. It’s a complete riot and is packed with superb characterization (William Spiver anyone?) and that pitch-perfect middle grade voice she’s famous for. I intend to study this story, to take it apart, much like one would when repairing say a vacuum cleaner. Maybe i’ll emerge with my own set of super powers and exclaim, “Holy Unanticipated Occurrences!”
It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry — and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart. From #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo comes a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting new format — a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black-and-white by up-and-coming artist K. G. Campbell.
Have you read any of her books, and if so, what’s your favorite?