I believe that children's toys - especially dolls, plush animals and other living creatures - that our children play, sleep, chuck, hide with poses an incredible human warmth and that an incredibly compassionate, kind and fearless heart hides in them. Why else should our children spend so much time with them, why in distress they seek their embrace and trust them their deepest secrets, if not because they know how to unselfishly comfort them, and at the same time, without pre-determined judgments, listen carefully to each of their words. All you have to do is to wake their hearts.
And that's exactly what happened to Edward Tulane.
Edward Tulane is no other than a rabbit. A big "posh" rabbit, made from the finest porcelain, with tail and ears from a real rabbit fur. His wardrobe consists of silk clothes, genuine leather shoes, a wide set of hats, not to mention the golden pocket watch. From this you can conclude that Edward was not a kind and compassionate creature, and that he was only interested in his own exceptionality.
But Edward had the owner - ten-year-old Abilene, who, as the most loving friend, took care of him unselfishly. Every morning, she carefully dressed Edward, winded his watch, then put Edward on a chair at a dining table, so that he could look around into the world all day, and his parents took him as a member of the family, who during the dinner carefully involved him in the conversation. Edward, in his vanity, did not realize how well he was doing it until the accident that had plunged him into a long journey.
"How could the fairy tale end happily if there was not a drop of love in the princess?" says Abilene's grandmother Pellegrina in one of the opening chapters of the book. Although Edward feels that the tragedy in the nighttime story is a tragic fate that Pellegrina put on him, he is not yet aware of the reality that he will really experience. The next day, as if by accident, Edward accidentally lands at the bottom of the sea. What a shock for a rabbit, which was convinced that he was omnipotent. Edward hopes that Abilene will save him. Fear was the first true feeling that Edward felt deeply in his belly. This was a turning point in his life, in which he realized that silk clothes, a well-groomed leatherette and sublimity do not bring happiness and joy when you find yourself in need. In his long years of traveling from the bottom of the sea towards the unusual return home, Edward finds that he can offer people more than just his cold porcelain presence. Just by being there with people, he can rebuild the parental warmth of the old fisherman and his wife, he can unselfishly console and comfort many vagabonds who, in the hope of a better life, have left their loved ones, and with his true love, he arouses a hope of recovering in the little dying girl and of the survival of her brother.
With each human touch Edward’s heart throbs more beamingly and loudly. He realizes that it was worth going through all the difficult experiences, just for the sake of feeling the whole range of warm emotions at least for a moment. He is deeply grateful for his experience, so just before his death he humbly asks for another opportunity. It comes from a toy repairer who repairs him at his best and puts him on the shelf of his doll store. There Edward promises that he will never make the same mistake for loving anyone, because the loss of a loved one is unbearably painful. But an old porcelain doll revives his hope, saying that if he would really open his heart, there will come a girl who will love and care for him, as Abilene did. And thus on a wonderful day Edward really finds a way to his home.
With the story of porcelain hare Kate Di Camillo created a wonderful allegory of life, which, with her magic and transformational power of love, stir some strong emotions. Her ability to express deep human sentience and to understand our universal aspirations helps us grow through Edward's experience and we profoundly transform with him. Because of her lyrical tongue and wonderful narrative talent, the book is a pleasure to read. As the story, the pretentious sepia illustrations by Bagram Ibatoullin that accompany the words are delicately fascinating as well.
Kate DiCamillo: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane