Saturday, October 20, 2007

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo


Well it was no surprise that I enjoyed this little story by Kate DiCamillo. She's become one of my favorite children's authors this year and I'm kind of sad that all I have left to read by her is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane which is up next. But I have no doubt that she has a long career ahead of her.

Because of Winn-Dixie is a story of friendship. India Opal Buloni has just moved to a new town. Her father is a preacher and while she loves him, she sometimes feels that she's second to his job as "the preacher." Her mother left her and her father at a young age and she doesn't know much about her. She misses her mother and often wonders about her. Suffice it to say that Opal feels quite lonely.

One day Opal goes to the local Winn-Dixie to pick up some groceries for her father and comes across a dog that is causing a raucous in the produce department. When she hears that the produce manager is going to call the pound, she claims the dog as her own. Her father allows her to keep the stray dog who is in need of some care and a beautiful bond forms between Opal and this wonderful dog. Opal begins to meet others in the town through their encounters with Winn-Dixie and she and the dog begin forming bonds and friendships with some wonderful, unlikely friends. Along the way, Opal learns that nearly everyone has ghosts in their pasts; something that they have lost or something that haunts them.

I was so pleased with this book and look forward to finally seeing the movie. I have to admit that I thought the movie looked stupid when I originally saw the previews and I didn't have any desire to see it. But now that I've discovered DiCamillo's writing, I'll most definitely see the movie based on the book. We used to show this movie at the children's psychiatric hospital that I interned at last semester and I can see why. It's a great book, and I'm sure a great movie, for kids who have gone through some kind of loss or troubled time to relate too. DiCamillo is certainly an asset to children's literature.

14 comments:

Ladytink_534 said...

This book has been on my shelf for awhile but I'm looking forward to reading it soon. I loved the movie.

Becky said...

I've watched the movie and listened to this one on audiobook. I really really enjoyed it! I think she is a great, great author. Not everyone can accomplish what she can when she writes. I think others might take the themes and make it too preachy or too whatever. Am I making any sense at all???

Chris said...

Ladytink, It's such a quick read and one that I really enjoyed! I'm looking forward to the movie now. I have a feeling I'll be pleased with it :)

Becky, LOL, you're definitely making sense. I've seen other authors get preachy with her themes, but she definitely has a gift with her writing. She writes with a tone that everyone can relate to and on a level that everyone can understand. At the same time her use of the english language is just perfect! The best example of that is in Despereaux I think. I loved her tone in that book!

Too Hotty said...

I've heard so many great things about this book, and we talked about it in a class I took in grad school, but I still haven't picked it up. For shame.

Although... I find it amusing that the dog on the cover looks like he's unhinging his jaw to swallow the child whole. Maybe that's just me.

Chris said...

Too Hotty, lol...the dog on the cover is quite amusing. He's nothing like the dog from the movie from what I've seen of the previews. No sir, Winn-Dixie is not a cute cuddly dog!

Nymeth said...

I saw this the other day at a discount book store for only £1.5...I didn't get it because I was literally 2 minutes away from missing the bus home, but you're going to make me go back for it ASAP. I really need to read more of her stuff.

Chris said...

Nymeth, That's so cheap! Yeah, her stuff is so good. I'm going to go out and buy her new one some time this week. It's a Christmas picture book for children. I would love another children's novel by her! Hope she writes one soon!

Bookfool said...

I haven't read this one, yet, but my son really enjoyed it. He said he didn't want to see the movie, so I guess I'll just have to read the book, some day, myself. He still actually lets me take him to the movies. I love that.

Chris said...

Bookfool, Well that's sweet! I try to take my mom to the movies every now and then but we have totally different tastes in movies so it usually doesn't work out to well. She's a romance/chick flick kind of person and I just can't do those. lol.

Bookfool said...

We do usually end up going to see what Will wants to watch, but that's fine. He likes action/adventure and so do I. This will probably be my last year of driving him to the movies because he turns 16 in December and pretty soon he'll be driving himself, but he's so cool for a 15-year-old; it doesn't embarrass him at all to be seen in public with his mother.

Chris said...

Bookfool, Oh oh! Watch out! lol...I loved the feeling of getting my license...I remember it fondly. I still love going out with my mom, so hopefully he'll stay that way too. I'm sure he will!

Bellezza said...

My very favorite part of this book is the passage about the Litmus Lozenge. Just what does sadness taste like? I have my kids write about it every year, and they do a better job than any one could imagine.

Chris said...

Bellezza, That was my favorite part of the book too :) DiCamillo does such a great job with her writing. I bet you get some amazing responses from your kids!

Bellezza said...

Trust you to notice, and appreciate, the same parts of a book I did.