By Kate DiCamillo
Oh, Lord, this book! I knew I shouldn’t read it. When Kinsey mentioned it previously, comparing it to The Velveteen Rabbit, I even commented that considering how affected I was by The Velveteen Rabbit, I was going to steer clear of Edward Tulane.
Then, I was browsing in a used bookstore, saw a copy, and figured I’d just read the first few pages to see what all of the fuss was about. 20 minutes later, I was almost halfway through (it is a young readers book with large, well-spaced type) and realized that I had better put it down if I wanted to avoid embarrassing myself by crying in the middle of the bookstore.
The next day I checked it out from the library, waited until I had an evening to myself, and sobbed my way through the second half. And I mean really sobbed, not just tearing up or anything. Now, honestly, I think it is probably more hard-hitting for adults than children, since most children won’t completely resonate with the theme of losing people you love and learning to love again.
But if I were a parent, I don’t know that I could get through reading it to my child without completely embarrassing myself all over again. So, there’s that. Read it, but carve out a time and place to curl up by yourself and think about life and love afterwards (and get some eye drops in order to disguise red, puffy eyes).
[When googling for a photo of the cover, I ran across this review, which I think has a very good analysis, but with spoilers.]