Flora & Ulysses – The Illuminated Adventures


Kate DiCamillo

Illustrated by KG Campbell

Candlewick Press

flora-and-ulyssesISBN: 9780763660406

RRP: $19.95

Age: 9+

Key Words: Fantasy, Adventure, Friendship, Family

Published: 24th Sept 2013

Reviewer: Kylie Calwell

Flora Belle Buckman is a little different. Flora considers herself a cynic. She loves comic books, practices hard at ignoring her mother and misses her father who no longer lives with them. One day she witnesses something strange, a squirrel getting vacuumed up. She races out to rescue him and a most amazing thing happens. The squirrel has been changed by his ordeal and Flora takes it upon herself to take care of him, starting with giving him the name of Ulysses.

Flora talks to Ulysses, he understands. He types poetry, has amazing strength and can even fly. Together they will be able to do remarkable things. Flora’s mother however sees things differently, fortunately Flora’s father is more understanding. Then the two are separated, will they find their way back to each other?

This is a truly beautiful tale of a unique friendship and a dysfunctional family. Flora is different and that makes her open to seeing the potential in Ulysses but it also makes her fascinating in her own right, as she grows in their journey together to find positive things a cynic might otherwise not see. This is a heartwarming story told with a masterful hand and complemented wonderfully by illustrations, sometimes in the form of comic book like panels. It is the sort of story that you really want to share with your children, you know the ones I’m talking about; they tug at your heart, they delight and they beg to be revisited over and over.

Highly recommended.

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