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The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

An Oldie, But A Goodie: The Magician\’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

As I mentioned in previous posts, sometimes, as readers and reviewers, we get so caught up in the \”newest and best\” releases that we forget about the goldmine of exceptional kids\’ books that already exist! The following are MORE books the Audrey Press Team has read over the last 4+ years that they feel are worthy of a fresh look. Enjoy!

A young boy goes to buy some fish at the market when he spies a fortune teller in a gypsy tent. Instead of fish, he got his fortune. In response to the question, how can I find my sister? The answer came swiftly and with confidence \”An elephant will lead you there.\”

An elephant?

So starts the story by acclaimed writer, Kate DiCamillo.

The Magician\'s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo\
The Magician\’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

The Magician\’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

When a fortune teller\’s tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchenne knows the questions that he needs to ask: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her? The fortune teller\’s mysterious answer (an elephant! An elephant will lead you there!) sets off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that you will hardly dare to believe it\’s true. 


Around the same time, the very astute Madam LaVaughn went to the theater in the evening to see a magic act. The magician, only intending to make a bouquet of lilies appear, instead made a real life elephant come tumbling down out of the ceiling and landing directly on Madam LaVaughn. Luckily she lives but is crippled. Now she is imprisoned in her wheel chair, the magician is taken to prison, the elephant is locked up in the stable and Peter, the young boy who went to buy some fish but found his fortune instead, must try to meet this elephant to find his sister. Anymore I cannot tell you.

Elephant 1\

I remember when my kids were young, this book was one of our favorites to pull off the shelf. Reading this book aloud never seemed to grow old. From one page to another we could not leave our new found friends, the characters in this incredible book. We read it in one sitting and were very sad to see the last page.

Without knowing it, this lovely elephant is a catalyst for change. He opens the hearts and doors of many to an understanding of how we are connected and how each one of us holds our own magic.

Something to Do:

So we\’ve been talking about an elephant which comes tumbling through the ceiling. That\’s not any sort of magic so we can\’t very well do any sort of elephant project. Today we are venturing into the world of kirigami. This is the Japanese art of paper-folding and cutting.


1. Take an 8in x 8in piece of paper

2. Fold it in half.

IMG_0017\ IMG_0018\

3. (photo above) Place the fold you just did on top and fold it in half again.



4. (photo above) Fold it diagonally, with the previous fold on the left.

5. Trace the elephant pattern below onto you triangle.

IMG_0015\ IMG_0023\

Very Important Note: Do not cut off the tail, back leg or the swoop in the trunk. If for some reason you transfer the pattern on the wrong side of the triangle you will come up with an \”x\” of elephants, which is beautiful in it\’s own right. To get the square just draw your pattern on the other side of the triangle.

Vintage swap 10 paper cutting magic elephant\

You can use origami paper or scrapbook paper. I also made an elephant square out of 4inx4in origami paper and set it into my large square to make \”art\”.

I must give credit where it is due. Today\’s art project was inspired by The Little Traveler\’s.  This mom lovingly documents the journey of her two girls as the travel around the world. To explore the sights, sounds, tastes, and cultures of some beautiful countries have a look here.

More Links and Ways to Connect

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