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Sunny Side Up

on January 29, 2014

When things are going less well than you’d like, it’s a comfort to retreat to the refuges of your youth: a double-decker ice-cream cone, a game of LIFE, a good book. In my case, I’m going with the book, this year’s John Newbery Medal winner, Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.

jacket of flora

It’s an odd little thing, quirky and tender. Ten-year-old Flora is the only child of divorced parents, obsessed with superheroes. Ulysses is a squirrel, mistakenly vacuumed up which imbues him with the ability to understand Flora, to read, and to write. Still, he’s a squirrel, and he’s always hungry.

Illustration copyright (c) 2013 by K.G. Campbell

Illustration copyright (c) 2013 by K.G. Campbell

“How, Ulysses wondered, had things gone so wrong?

Only moments ago, he had been looking at the Giant Do-Nut menu, captivated by the glossy pictures of food and the dazzling descriptions that accompanied the pictures.

There were giant donuts with sprinkles, giant donuts powdered, iced! Giant donuts filled with things: jelly, cream, chocolate.

He had never had a giant donut.

Actually, he had never had any kind of donut.

They looked delicious. All of them. How was a squirrel to choose?

And to complicate matters, there were eggs: scrambled, poached, over easy, sunny-side up.

Sunny-side up! thought Ulysses as he clung to Rita’s hair. What a wonderful phrase!”

Text copyright (c) 2013 by Kate DiCamillo

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I feel a little bit better now.

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