Friday, March 21, 2014

Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

I am participating in the Newbery Reading Challenge and this is my first Newbery of the challenge and this year's Newbery winner!

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
Candlewick Press

Kate DiCamillo is a wonderful writer and she captures the joy of life in her works.
Flora Belle Buckman is a cynic, mainly turned this way by her parents divorce and her mother's indifference toward her. She needs something to believe in and what she finds is a superhero squirrel. Ulysses, the squirrel, did not ask to be sucked up into a vacuum cleaner and gain superpowers, but from the moment he meets Flora, he is willing to be the superhero she needs. As Ulysses crosses the lives of Flora, her dad, her dad's next door neighbor, and Tootie and Tootie's nephew William Spiver, he gives them all that needed feeling of the extraordinary. The only one who seems unconvinced is Flora's mother and Ulysses arch-nemesis. Told in alternate text and comic book illustrations, this is a wonderful story of finding what truly matters to us in this world and finding the courage to face our problems.

Loved it! I can't wait to booktalk this book. The situations are hilarious and the story is so sweet that you can't help falling in love with the "cynic" Flora, poetry-typing Ulysses, and the indomitable William Spiver. DiCamillo will have you believing in superhero squirrels and in the power of love.

Favorite Character: Flora. She is smart and very forgiving. She is so lovable that even a squirrel cares for her.

Favorite Quote: There are some awesome quotes in this story. I could really put quotes around the whole story, because the writing is so beautiful. My favorite is this: "Nothing would be easier without you, because you are everything, all of it- sprinkles, quarks, giant donuts, eggs sunny-side up- you are the ever-expanding universe to me."

Definitely 5 cups of cocoa! Who would have thought a story about a squirrel being sucked up in a vacuum cleaner would be so moving!

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