We are a big fan of Kate DiCamillo’s books and when we heard the Oregon Children’s Theater was going to be doing Flora & Ulysses this season we got tickets right away and grabbed the book to read since we had never read it! It was delightful!
This story is about Flora, our main character. She is a cynic. She is trying to understand her parents divorce and how she still fits in and is navigating a difficult relationship with her mother where a doll lamp feels more important than she does. She gets to spend time with her dad and feels like she wants to live with him more and more as the book progresses. She is outside one day when she sees a squirrel get sucked up into a vacuum and is almost killed. As an avid reader of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You! she knows just what to do to save him! This unfortunate accident gives him super powers and Flora quickly adopts him and calls him Ulysses. Her mother is none-too-pleased that there is a squirrel living in her house and this is where the adventure begins. They meet interesting and wonderfully eccentric people along the way. There is plenty of humor and some good suspense as well.
The book has lovely illustrations to depict the story done by K.G. Campbell. I love the way they hearken back to the 60’s and there is a real innocence about them.
We highly recommend this book to families. Kids grade 3 and up will likely do well reading this on their own. The chapters are very short (sometimes only a few pages) making the book feel really manageable for new chapter book readers. There are also some bigger words or words kids of this age may not have seen in regular conversation so it will help build vocabulary also!
Here is the book trailer. Enjoy!