I have been having a hard time getting into audiobooks lately. I enjoy the medium, but I feel like sometimes I’m choosing the wrong kinds of books to listen to. That’s what led me to go to the children’s section of the library and scope out the shelves. One of my daughter’s best friend’s favorite books is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, and we had just been talking about it, so when I saw it, I picked it up. The book is short (only two disks) so it seemed like a really good way to get my audiobook mojo back.
What can I say? This book is delightful. It’s the story of a very odd but beautifully crafted stuffed porcelain bunny (I told you it was odd) that gets separated from his original owner and embarks on, well, a miraculous journey. He spends time at the bottom of the ocean, with a lonely elderly woman, in a landfill, on a pole as a scarecrow, as the companion of a child with cystic fibrosis, as a vagabond on the road with a hobo and his dog, and in a dollmaker’s shop. (I’m pretty sure I missed a leg or two of his journey.) Along the way, he learns the true meaning of love—something he didn’t understand and had his heart closed to before.
I loved the narration (especially how Judith Ivey did Pellegrina. I would frequently say, “You disappoint me” in the same way because I thought the delivery was so great), and I loved the characters. All of the characters were so great, and all of the stories were both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. DiCamillo doesn’t shy away from tough subjects, nor does she sugarcoat any of the experiences of Edward or his owners.
Aside from the other characters he encounters, Edward and his observations are hilarious. He starts the story as an arrogant, prissy, shallow, and selfish rabbit who hates being called a doll. He also hates whenever someone mistakes him for a girl rabbit. Because he goes through so many owners, his reactions when they name and dress him are so fun. He sometimes communicates with other dolls or stuffed animals, and those interactions are also hilarious, especially when he’s in the dollmaker’s shop with a hoity toity doll WHO CAN BLINK. Hahahaha. So great. Oh, Edward.
So overall, I found it to be a fun listen with some really touching and poignant moments.