The Book My Daughter Insisted I Read

“You must read this, Mom!” she insists. For days, she’s been following me around, this book in hand, telling me it’s the best book, her favorite book, and the book that will make me cry and cry.

“Why will I cry?” I ask.

Tears actually form in her eyes as she says, “It’s so heartwarming and. . .,” she stammers because she can’t find the words, “and joyful and sad and so happy. . . I don’t know!” 

Finally, I read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. It’s written by the same great author–Kate DiCamillo–who gave us Despereaux, Because of Winn Dixie, and that amazing pig, Mercy Watson. 

I know I’m in for something life-changing when I read, instead of a dedication, the quote that the “heart breaks and breaks and lives by breaking,” and that “it is necessary to go through dark and deeper dark and not to turn.”

So I follow a little china rabbit on a dark and deep journey.  

I learn about how to find a way home. I learn from the grandmother, Pelligrina, that in life there will be a story–soon–if I wait. I learn that one of most important questions a person can ask herself is “Whom do you love?”

I learn that a story cannot end happily if there is no love. 

I put the book down after I read the final line: “Once, oh marvelous once, there was a rabbit who found his way home.”

Once, oh marvelous once!

I’m going to listen when a child tells me about a book I must read. 

Have you discovered Kate DiCamillo? 

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