Flora & Ulysses

 

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Gladiola. Caramel. Spiral.

Of the words and terms that evoke a relaxed feeling

for me, many can’t mean the same thing to you.

For example, the names of my husband and daughter,

my first childhood kitty, Wacky, my mother’s sister, Lily,

and the places on Earth where I felt one with the universe.

But one of my charmed words may be yours:

                            P   O   E  T  R  Y

So, I invoke this word to talk about the book I brought home from my

wunnerful public library. It is the 2013 novel for young readers,

FLORA & ULYSSES: The Illuminated Adeventures. I knew it won the 2014

Newbery. I had read it was about a girl and a squirrel. But I had not read it.

Imagine my summer reading surprise to see in it that a lively character, on page 82,

quotes with good effect:

 

“You, sent out beyond your recall,

go to the limits of your longing.

Embody me.

Flare up like flame

and make big shadows I can move in.”

 

This is from Ranier Maria Rilke.

As I scrunched further into the comfy sofa, racing through page after page, I found that in this always switching-around tale, a story that produces in me laughs out loud,  readers discover that faith & hope & love = poetry. Or something. Or, they can equal poetry. That depends on you. The way certain words can be your charmed words.

Kate D. gives the story delicious made up words, vigorous real words, charmed words, airborne moments & every poem tucked inside is fine to read. Flora is a self-proclaimed cynic who is immershed in the world of comic books about a superhero. And then the story leaps on four paws from there.

I expect the best with this author but still, I feel charmed to read a story once again that leaves no question why she steps out so well as our country’s Ambassador for Children’s Literature. She is like a matter-of-fact big sister in speaking to children & the link below is especially demonstrates how she takes her readers seriously, but always offers a smile.

KATE!, a view from across The Pond

http://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2014/jul/29/kate-dicamillo-flora-and-ulysses-guardian-childrens-fiction-book-prize-2014

Rilke/the poem, “Go To The Limits of Your Longing”  from which DiCamillo quotes:

http://www.onbeing.org/program/wild-love-world/feature/go-limits-your-longing/1448

Illustrator K.G. Campbell who is all over the place in the best illustrated books:

http://www.goodreadswithronna.com/2013/10/25/interview-k-g-campbell-illustrator-flora-ulysses/

Finally, you likely have arrived here through POETRY FRIDAY. A little nook of the Kidlitosphere. Today’s host is  CHECK IT OUT & I invite you to

take a trip to the West Coast & visit the host, Jone. Many thanks.  `  j a n

 

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12 thoughts on “Flora & Ulysses

  1. Holy Bagumba! Thank you for this little refresher, including the link with the summary, on this great book. It’s been months since I read it and this little hit brought it all right back to me! 😀 Kate D. is AMAZING! 😀

    Like

  2. Cellar door and chest of drawers….
    Gotta love those words!
    Though I doubt they are soothing for others, they are a couple of my favorites.
    Thanks for the book review too. Haven’t read it yet, but sound like a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

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