Friday, 17 October 2014
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures - Kate DiCamillo
I've been a fan of Kate DiCamillo since I came across Because of Wyn-Dixie. This is an entirely different book, but a wonderful adventure for younger readers (or to be read aloud as there are some wonderful shouty bits!) Flora saves a squirrel from certain death when he is sucked up by a very powerful vacuum cleaner. Somehow, this dreadful event turns him into a super-hero, and Flora names him Ulysses. In a strange turn of events, Tootie, the lady next door who was operating the vacuum cleaner at the time, has a nephew (William) foisted upon her for a few weeks as he has misbehaved following the re-marriage of his mother to a man who insists on calling him Billy.
Flora's Mum seems to enjoy the company of her typewriter more that that of her daughter; Flora's Dad does not live at home any more, and Flora is a little odd ..... well, not really, as you'll see the further into the book you get. Anyway, there are some great adventures to be had along the way, and those which have Ulysses being a super-hero are done in graphic novel/comic book form, whilst the rest of the book is a normal reading book.
I polished it off in a couple of hours, but then I am rather older than the aimed-at reader! What child does not feel left out sometimes, or unloved sometimes, or wanting an adventure sometimes. That's Flora, and I liked this little girl very much indeed.