Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Fall 2013 Fiction
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 978-0763660406
Hardcover Price: $17.99

Flora is a cynic. The surly only child of a divorced romance writer, she spends her days engrossed in superhero comic adventures while her mother types out breathless love stories on the kitchen table downstairs. Flora loses herself in the exploits of her comic heroes. They're her world. But on one of her otherwise uneventful afternoons, Mrs. Tickham, her kooky neighbor, tries out her new birthday present—a "Ulysses, Super Suction, Multi Terrain 2000x vacuum." It gets away from her, and in two blinks of an eye, Mrs. Tickham vacuums up an innocent squirrel. The two manage to dislodge him, but it's dire. Fortunately, Flora's reading has prepared her for almost any emergency and with a steady hand she gives the squirrel CPR and a superhero is born: Ulysses. Ulysses is easily the most charming squirrel in literary history. He has extraordinary powers. He can fly, and type, and writes very serviceable poetry.

This is a fun and clever tale of an unlikely hero uniting an even more unlikely cast of characters. Kate DiCamillo strikes again. Each character is well-drawn, the story is packed with fun references and asides. It's a perfect blend of poignancy and magic.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

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Candlewick Press

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