Module 8: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
DiCamillo, K. (2006). The miraculous journey of Edward Tulane. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.
The journey of Edward Tulane, a chine rabbit, is detailed in this story by Kate DiCamillo. Beginning with his life as a companion for a wealthy girl, the story follows Edward through a variety of situations in which he finds himself. The journey helps Edward discover what is important in life and to make the ultimate discovery about himself.
What Did I Think?
This is a very touching and heartfelt story about Edward and the changes he makes as he comes to discover what it means to love someone. The writing is such that the reader is able to connect fully with the characters and, in the end, they are able to make some important discoveries of their own. I enjoy the way each character he comes in contact with is brought to life and how his despair at different parts of the story is so evident.
From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6–This achingly beautiful story shows a true master of writing at her very best. Edward Tulane is an exceedingly vain, cold-hearted china rabbit owned by 10-year-old Abilene Tulane, who dearly loves him. Her grandmother relates a fairy tale about a princess who never felt love; she then whispers to Edward that he disappoints her. His path to redemption begins when he falls overboard during the familys ocean journey. Sinking to the bottom of the sea where he will spend 297 days, Edward feels his first emotion–fear. Caught in a fishermans net, he lives with the old man and his wife and begins to care about his humans. Then their adult daughter takes him to the dump, where a dog and a hobo find him. They ride the rails together until Edward is cruelly separated from them. His heart is truly broken when next owner, four-year-old Sarah Ruth, dies. He recalls Abilenes grandmother with a new sense of humility, wishing she knew that he has learned to love. When his head is shattered by an angry man, Edward wants to join Sarah Ruth but those he has loved convince him to live. Repaired by a doll store owner, he closes his heart to love, as it is too painful, until a wise doll tells him that he that he must open his heart for someone to love him. This superb book is beautifully written in spare yet stirring language. The tender look at the changes from arrogance to grateful loving is perfectly delineated. Ibatoullines lovely sepia-toned gouache illustrations and beautifully rendered color plates are exquisite. An ever-so-marvelous tale.–B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Library, Sag Harbor, NY
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*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 realize 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 color 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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This book lends itself to a lesson on character traits and changes. Students could describe Edward at different points of the story and explain the change he makes in his character. It would also be a good story to use in story sequencing. Students could complete a story map to show the progression he makes and illustrates both the physical and personal journey he makes.