Saturday, December 28, 2013

Caturday ~ Mr. Klaus is vanquished

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures ~ by Kate DiCamillo, 2013, children's chapter book, 7/10
It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences.   The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him.   What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry — and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart.   From #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo comes a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting new format — a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black-and-white by up-and-coming artist K. G. Campbell.
First, I must say there really is a cat involved.  Second, I admit the cat does not have top billing.  And third, I confess that I'm only mentioning the cat because it's Saturday — I mean, Caturday.  Why?  Because Mr. Klaus, the cat, is one of the bad guys (though not the arch-nemesis).  When Mr. Klaus landed atop the head of Flora's dad (pp. 132-133), Ulysses the superhero squirrel saves the day by vanquishing him (the cat, that is).

The tiny squirrel lifts the roly-poly cat over his head and slings him to the other end of the long hallway.  Anyone laughing out loud would have to be the "young readers" for whom the book is intended.  In other words, not me.

The cat is not all that important to the story, which is about Flora and her parents — and how that squirrel because a superhero.  Oh, and did I mention the newly created superhero squirrel could fly?  I rate the book 7 of 10, a good book.

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