Review: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Genre:  Age Level: Junior Source: Library Series: N/A Interest: author, re-read
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: Middle Grade
Source: Library
Series: N/A
Interest: author, re-read

A timeless tale by the incomparable Kate DiCamillo, complete with stunning full-color plates by Bagram Ibatoulline, honors the enduring power of love.

“Someone will come for you, but first you must open your heart. . . .”

Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely. 

And then, one day, he was lost. 

Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the top of a garbage heap to the fireside of a hoboes’ camp, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. And along the way, we are shown a true miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.


“There’s no point in going on if you feel that way. No point at all. You must be filled with expectancy. You must be awash in hope. You must wonder who will love you, whom you will love next.” “I am done with being loved,” Edward told her. “I’m done with loving. It’s too painful.” “Pish,” said the old doll. “Where is your courage?” “Somewhere else, I guess,” said Edward. “You disappoint me,” she said. “You disappoint me greatly. If you have no intention of loving or being loved, then the whole journey is pointless. You might as well leap from this shelf right now and let yourself shatter into a million pieces. Get it over with. Get it all over with now.”

I listened to the audio book version quite a few years back and remember loving the story though I’m not sure how well I actually understood it.  So in a decision to read through all of Kate DiCamillo’s works, re-reading if necessary, I once again picked up The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and once again got sucked into the heart-wrenching story.

I’m not going to lie – this story has all the emotions and left me on the verge of tears multiple times throughout the relatively short novel. The story deals with love and loss and everything in between and at times depresses you and at others makes you want to hug the book with all your might. At some point you are even left wondering what’s the point of loving if there’s a chance it might get taken away from you. But then at the end you realize that, to quote Tennyson,  “‘[t]is better to have loved and lost, [t]han never to have loved at all.”

Edward learns that it is only through loss that we realize the meaning of love and and that only when we learn that nothing is forever can we understand the importance of love.

And the writing. I don’t even know how I can begin describe how perfect the writing is. In its simplicity it manages to capture every description and flows so beautifully there is not a word out of place. You feel every emotion and connect with every character. More importantly you connect with Edward and his journey. You desperately wish for him to find happiness and cry when he doesn’t and rejoice when he does. All because of the writing.

The illustrations that accompany the book are stunning. The attention to detail is astounding and you can see that they were drawn from the heart as they capture the mood of the story perfectly.

The ending was the most perfect ending and there is no other way it could have ended. It was not rushed and did not tie up all the loose ends and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you are are a fan of childrens lit, of beautiful writing or heartwarming stories then do yourself a favour and read this book. I promise you won’t regret it.

tulane 1

tulane 2

Have you read this book? What did you think? 


10 thoughts on “Review: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

  1. I love an emotional story and this one sounds great!! Love and loss are some of the biggest things out there in a heartwrenching story and The Miraculous Journey seemed to have played it quite well, going to look out for this one 🙂

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

  2. Goodness, I remember we read this one as a read-a-loud in elementary school (I think it was like 3rd or 4th grade? Maybe even 2nd…), and I fell in love. I remember I was captured by this book, and I had tears during multiple parts of the story. After the teacher finished reading the last page, we all kind of sat there for a moment, and I remember there was a lot of sniffling. Then, later on in the year, we had to write a letter to our favorite author, and I wrote to Kate Dicamillo. I commented on how gorgeous her writing was, and how I loved her stories. So it seems like I definitely need to re-read this one as well! Dicamillo’s writing is just superb, and I loved that ending so much as well. 😉

    Lovely review!! I am most definitely going to be picking this one up again this summer.

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  3. This sounds fantastic! I never really considered it before, but I definitely want to give it a try now. It sounds as though its pretty emotionally evoking. I also love that Tennyson quote – I remember it every time I finish a book that leaves me miserable, to remember that it was worth it.

    Great review!

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