“If you have no intention of loving or being loved,
then the whole journey is pointless.”
A China rabbit doll is loved and doted upon by a little girl, yet all the doll can feel in return is a sense of entitlement because it is loved more than the other toys. When a new housekeeper puts Edward Tulane (the rabbit) on a shelf one day, he cannot believe that he is being treated in such a way. Abilene is overjoyed when she finds her doll, but the doll just wishes the housekeeper to be punished. Then, when the family decides to take a journey on a ship, Edward topples overboard and is lost.
I have been reading Kate DiCamillo books because my daughters have loved her as an author. I have enjoyed just about every one I have read so far because she weaves tales that give messages of love, hope and wonderment in everyday life. I have a few more to read before I can say I’ve read all of her books, but I do plan to read them all.
After falling into the ocean, Edward is captured in a net and finds a home with a sailor and his wife, then with a hobo, then with a boy who has a sick little sister and finally has to be repaired at a doll shop. At each new home, the doll opens his heart a little more and starts learning what it means to love those who love you. He wishes he had known how to love when he was with Abilene and thinks of her as he sits on a shelf in a toy store for years upon years. The ending will make you smile and you might find a tear in your eye.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone elementary age or older. At the heart of the tale is the lesson that love is a vital part of this life’s journey. I am so glad I read this and can share the story with my daughters who have read it. We enjoy the magic DiCamillo creates with her stories.