*Starred Review* Gr. 2-4. As she did in her Newbery Medal Book, The Tale of Despereaux (2004), DiCamillo tucks important messages into this story and once more plumbs the mystery of the heart--or, in this case, the heartless. Edward Tulane is a china rabbit with an extensive wardrobe. He belongs to 10-year-old Abilene, who thinks almost as highly of Edward as Edward does of himself. Even young children will soon realise that Edward is riding for a fall. And fall he does, into the sea, after mean boys rip him from Abilene's hands during an ocean voyage. Thus begins Edward's journey from watery grave to the gentle embrace of a fisherman's wife, to the care of a hobo and his dog, and into the hands of a dying girl. Then, pure meanness breaks Edward apart, and love and sacrifice put him back together--until just the right child finds him. With every person who taouches him, Edward's heart grows a little bit softer and a little bit bigger. Bruised and battered, Edward is at his most beautiful, and beautiful is a fine word to describe the artwork. Ibatoulline outdoes himself; his precisely rendered sepia-tone drawings and colour plates of high artistic merit are an integral part of this handsomely designed package. Yet even standing alone, the story soars because of DiCamillo's lyrical use of language and her understanding of universal yearnings. This will be a pleasure to read aloud. Ilene Cooper
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Kate DiCamillo is the Newbery Medal-winning author of The Tale Of Despereaux, The Tiger Rising and the award-winning bestseller Because of Winn-Dixie, which was recently made into a Hollywood film. She lives in Minneapolis, USA. Bagram Ibatoulline graudated from the State Academic Institute of Arts in Moscow and has illustrated numerous picture books, including The Nightingale and Hana in the Time of Tulips. Born in Russia, he now lives in New Jersey, USA.
"DiCamillo's understated lyricism is reminiscent of John Steinbeck." TES Primary"