Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Was Flora strange?
He supposed so.
But what was wrong with that?
She was strange in a good way. She was strange in a lovable way. Her heart was so big. It was capacious.
Holy bagumba! I told my students that I was saving this one for the end, like dessert (which isn’t quite true since I still haven’t read Charlie Bumpers), and, for the love of Pete, was it ever delicious! Like a jelly sandwich. Or sardines on toast. Or a giant donut. With sprinkles. I love quirky characters and Kate DiCamillo delivers like eggs sunny-side up. And voice! Can we talk about voice? These characters have such strong, rich, unique, captivating voices! An outstanding read aloud selection, the book is visually stimulating as well, with great use of typeface, illustrations and graphic novel-style chapters scattered throughout. But, oh my gosh, the audio version was so amazing. Just do both.
So you’ve read Love You Forever, right? Where the mother drives across town, opens a bedroom window, crawls across a bedroom floor and picks up her great big son and rocks him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth? Do yourself a favor and pull someone you love close, even if you think they’re too big to be read to, and share this treasure with them. But don’t be surprised if people at your house start exclaiming, “Holy unanticipated occurrences!”