Read this now: Flora and Ulysses
I’ll keep this simple: If you have a 7-11 year old you read to, you must immediately buy Kate DiCamillo’s Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. Or borrow it. Or steal it. Whichever. Regardless, it’s fantastic.
Flora Belle Buckman is a ten-year-old who loves comic books, adventures, and learning random facts. Her life changes when she witnesses a squirrel being sucked into a vacuum cleaner. Flora rescues the squirrel and soon discovers the traumatic incident has not only given the squirrel, soon named Ulysses, super strength and the ability to fly, but also a love of poetry. The book is about Flora’s relationships with her new squirrel friend, the odd boy next door who claims he’s blind when he’s not, and her recently-separated parents. It’s magical, fun, and beautifully written. It gave me that “damn, I wish I wrote that” feeling. The book also contains a handful of awesomely illustrated pages, drawn in comic form, as seen below. Seriously, read this book to your child. He or she will love it.