Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (September 24, 2013)
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
About the Book:
Winner of the 2014 Newbery Medal
Holy unanticipated occurrences! A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in a genre-breaking new novel by master storyteller Kate DiCamillo.
It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry — and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart. From #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo comes a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting new format — a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black-and-white by up-and-coming artist K. G. Campbell.
About the Author:
Kate DiCamillo is the author of The Magician’s Elephant, a New York Times bestseller; The Tale of Despereaux, which was awarded the Newbery Medal; Because of Winn-Dixie, a Newbery Honor book; and six books starring Mercy Watson, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride. She lives in Minneapolis.
About the Artist:
Keith G. Campbell was born in Kenya, but raised and educated in Scotland.
He graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Master’s degree in Art History.
After trying on several careers, Keith eventually returned to his early passion of writing and illustrating stories.
He is currently a full-time author/illustrator and lives in California.
You can find Keith at http://kgcampbell.com
Kids that like to laugh will be over the moon with this book. Flora rescues Ulysses (a squirrel) from a vacuum cleaner, gives him CPR, and takes him home. The experience of being vacuumed has changed Ulysses, however. He is now a superhero squirrel (or something). He can fly, write poetry, and vanquish mean cats. Flora is an odd girl, but her cynical personality is perfect for the story. The boy that lives next door is a temporarily blind philosopher and drives Flora crazy.
I loved Ulysses poetry. I also loved the way we got his point of view sometimes. He was obsessed with eating. He would have grandiose thoughts and ambitions, and then it always came back to food.
The illustrations are fantastic. They add to the personality of the book and are very entertaining. I especially liked the comic strip sections where Ulysses slipped into superhero mode.
Flora and Ulysses is full of friendship, love, and laugh out loud moments. I loved it.