I love this gentle, beautifully written fairytaly by Kate DiCamillo. When Peter Duchene is sent to buy bread by his cranky guardian Vilna Lutz, he gives the money to the fortune teller instead. His one question is this: Is my sister still alive and will I ever see her again? The sister lives, the fortuneteller assures him — and an elephant will lead him to her. ‘She must have lied,’ Peter thinks. ‘There are no elephants around!”
But then he overhears the discussion at the fish mongers — “Did you hear about the elephant? The magician performed, and there it came through the ceiling and shattered a lady’s legs.”
“But perhaps you do not understand — I was crippled, crippled by an elephant that came through the roof!” says she, again and again.”
“I only intended lilies!” the now incarcerated magician moaned, “only a bouquet of lilies.”
The story goes from there, chock full of whimsy, warmth, gladness, sadness, grieving, truth, lies, promises and hope, and some very wise insights by the author. The end was very satisfying to me, and I love the odd side characters that pop up along the journey. This book is sheer joy!