The Magician's Elephant

The Magician's Elephant

Book - 2009
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When ten-year-old orphan Peter Augustus Duchene encounters a fortune teller in the marketplace one day and she tells him that his sister, who is presumed dead, is in fact alive, he embarks on a remarkable series of adventures as he desperately tries to find her.
Publisher: Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2009.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780763644109
Branch Call Number: J FIC DiCam
Characteristics: 201 p. : ill.
Additional Contributors: Tanaka, Yoko


From the critics

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Nov 23, 2018

A wonderful story, beautifully told. Elegant and magical. The oneness of reality and imagination. The glint of each person; the connectedness of all creatures.

Jun 05, 2018

Stunning and enchanting, Di Camillo crafts another meaningful tale of lies, truths, magic, mystery and joy. DiCamillo exposes both the undesirable qualities of humanity along with the qualities that make living among each other beautiful. Absolutely enjoyed this story fully.

DBRL_KrisA Jan 07, 2018

Kate Dicamillo tells this story in a way that reminds me at times of a Wes Anderson movie, and at times of a story by Brian Selznick. The characters are unusual, their way of talking is unusual, and the story, although it reaches the destination you knew it would all along, gets there in an unusual, fun, enchanting way.

I loved all the characters, from Peter Augustus Duchene to the old soldier, Vilna Lutz, to Madame LaVaughn and the Magician and their repeated conversation. I loved the beggar, Tomas, and his blind dog, Iddo. I loved it all.

ArapahoeAnnaL Mar 20, 2017

A touching, sweet story for children about loneliness and the longing for family and the joy of reunion. Wonderful elements of humor as well. "A quieter volume than The Tale of Despereaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, this has an equal power to haunt readers long past the final page." (Kirkus Reviews)

0Charlie Jun 25, 2016

I have enjoyed many of Kate DiCamillo's works - Because of Winn-Dixie, Tale of Despereaux, Tiger Rising, Great Joy, Flora & Ulysses - and this book continues the positive experience. Although incredible stuff happens to ordinary people in this work, the story remains honest and sweet. The story is told simply but the magic and feeling created stays with you. Highly recommended.

Mar 22, 2015

I found myself looking forward to reading the next chapter to my son. I think the best age for children to read/have read to them this book would be age 8-9. But as an adult who loves grown up stories like Amelie (the movie), this has that feel of stopping to appreciate the bittersweet beauty in the world, with a happy ending when characters find their way through challenges.

Nov 24, 2011

I am a 4th grader and this is the book I am reading because I am Global Reading Challenger! This book is also very wonderful and exciting!

Jul 01, 2011

A really great and fantastic story about hope and dreams come true. It is so beautiful, and I recommend it to everyone. It is one of my favorites!

missmarcy Jun 29, 2011

Magician makes elephant appear. It leads Peter to find his sister. Beautifully written.

May 22, 2011

What a wonderful story!

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Age Suitability

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Jul 02, 2014

joycemas thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 12

orange_cat_0 Jun 21, 2013

orange_cat_0 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

green_dog_2805 Sep 11, 2012

green_dog_2805 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jul 16, 2012

violet_manatee_33 thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

Jun 16, 2012

Hollywood206 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

meks Apr 26, 2012

meks thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over


Add a Summary
Jul 02, 2014

When a fortuneteller's tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchene knows the questions that he needs to ask: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her? The fortuneteller's mysterious answer (an elephant! An elephant will lead him there!) sets off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that you will hardly dare to believe it’s true. With atmospheric illustrations by fine artist Yoko Tanaka, here is a dreamlike and captivating tale that could only be narrated by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo. In this timeless fable, she evokes the largest of themes — hope and belonging, desire and compassion — with the lightness of a magician’s touch.


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