Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Review: Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Title: Flora & Ulysses
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Published by: Candlewick Press (2013)

My Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭

This book was hilarious! I was laughing every other page. The writing style was very unique—fantastical dialogue and events, with hysterical characters! This book was very, very well done and I thoroughly enjoyed every word of it.

Characters/Writing: The characters were hilarious, as I’ve said, and written very well. Rather than act realistically, these characters lean towards behavior and dialogue you might find in a children’s fantasy book—which fit right in with the plotline. 

( Page 22: “Tootie?” shouted Mr. Tickham from the back door. “Tootie, I’m hungry!” 
What a ridiculous name. 
Flora couldn’t resist the urge to say it out loud. “Tootie,” she said. “Tootie Tickham. Listen, Tootie. Go inside. Feed your husband. Say nothing to him or anyone else about any of this.”
“Right,” said Tootie. “Say nothing. Feed my husband. Okay, right.” She began walking slowly towards the house.) 

Additionally, I loved Flora’s exclamations: “Holy bagumba!” “Holy unanticipated occurances!”

Yet, despite their fantasy-like behavior, the true emotions of the characters surge forward, and the result is a combination and a character you’ll never forget. I loved the characters so much! The whole book is this way, and the author did a great job.

Plot: The plotline was hilarious and written fantastical as well. Flora, a comic-book lover, sees a squirrel sucked up by a new vacuum machine called Ulysses. When the squirrel comes out, suddenly he is very smart, and he can fly! Flora immediately thinks of him as a superhero, and is eager to see what evil deeds he will soon stop and how he will defeat The Villian: her mother, who hates squirrels.

I will note that despite everything I enjoyed about Flora & Ulysses, I did not necessarily find it Newbery-Medal product. Sure, it was hilarious and sure, the characters were well done and sure, the plotline had some meaning to it, and there’s nothing I didn’t like about it. Simply put, I would think this book was too imagination-driven for a Newbery Medal. Still, I found this a great read, full of interesting characters, a superhero squirrel, LOTS of illustrations and a super-fun storyline. I will definitely be rereading this soon and would recommend to anyone looking for a quick, fun read! 

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