Flora & Ulysses
Holy bagumba! Kate Di Camillo does it again. ‘Because of Winn-Dixie‘ is one of my all time favourite children’s books. It’s always trepidatious for readers to turn to a new title from one that is beloved. We fear the magic may not be repeated. ‘Flora & Ulysses‘ doesn’t repeat the magic, but offers its own unique reading wonder.
Flora Belle Buckman’s neighbour’s birthday present of a super-suction, multi-terrain vacuum cleaner inadvertently opens Flora’s world. It resembles that of Incandesto, legendary superhero and alter-ego of Alfred T. Slipper. There’s a flying, poetry writing squirrel, a looming lamp named Mary-Ann and Giant Donuts, an attack cat. The neighbours’ eleven-year old nephew, with temporarily traumatised eyeballs, joins this assembly on a horsehair sofa, to make sense of the cacophony.
‘Flora & Ulysses‘ is a truly wonderful, blindsiding, wild and different book. I cannot recommend it highly enough. K.G. Campbell’s comic book illustrations punctuate the chapters adding to the humour, mayhem and wonderment. There is no room for cynicism here- ‘I promise to always turn back towards you.’ Kate Di Camillo is one of the finest writers for children, and this is one of her finest books. (Newbery Honor Award)