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Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

by Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by K. G. Campbell

Published by Candlewick Press, 2013
240 pages
ISBN: 978𢠩636-60406

Ages 8-10

Flora抯 been pretty cynical since her parents divorce. She spends most of her time reading superhero comics while her self-involved mom works on her next romance novel and her dad, with his lack of confidence, flounders. But when Flora sees a hapless squirrel sucked up by a vacuum, she抯 on the scene in an instant performing CPR (she learned it in the back of a comic book). 揊or a cynic I am a surprisingly helpful person, she thinks. The squirrel not only lives, but is changed by the experience. He understands what Flora says. And he can write梡oetry no less梡lunking out deep, thoughtful verses on the typewriter belonging to Flora抯 mom. Flora names him Ulysses (for the model of vacuum that was almost his demise) and thinks of him as a superhero in real life. Ulysses may not be able to save the world, but he just might be able to save Flora, restoring her belief in friendship and family. Kate DiCamillo抯 witty, wonderful work of magical realism is patently absurd with its flights of fancy and wordplay, but that抯 its charm. The lively prose narrative is punctuated by interludes of black-and-white panel illustrations by K. G. Campbell that showcase small vignettes of action while referencing the comic-book form.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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