I enjoyed this book. Actually, I LOVED this book. I guess one can’t read Kate DiCamillo without enjoyment. I laughed aloud over and over. And as Paula Danziger used to say, “Underline the sad parts in blue and the funny parts in red. Every page should be purple.” This book fulfills that suggestion/requirement perfectly. However, I didn’t still feel an emotional investment in this book that would warrant the Newbery. I think that’s the reason I was disappointed. Had it not been chosen the “best of the best” in children’s literature for the year, I wouldn’t have felt this way. I would have closed the back cover thinking, well, that was a delightful read. It is delightful and well worth reading. It’s fun, funny, sweet, and sad. But I can’t believe it won the Newbery.
I expect all of the above in a Newbery winner, plus I expect to have my heart opened up in some new way. It didn’t do that.
The story, and the fantastic squirrel is wildly creative and more than fun. Fora’s story does tug at the heartstrings, and her heart opens in new way in the course of the story. However, I was still a tad disappointed. If it hadn’t been the Newbery winner, I would have been more than satisfied. Good characters, good story. Well worth the reading time.
I think that my problem is I expect the moon from a Newbery, and I also expect the moon from Kate DiCamillo. Because of Win Dixie is, in my opinion, the nearly perfect book. Almost as perfect as To Kill a Mockingbird on a different level. I’m probably not being fair to Kate D., because after all, where do you go from there?