The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Ryan Whitenack. He's a genius, and I'm not just saying that so he'll continue to help me out on my grad school work. The man makes me belly laugh constantly). Although we did not have the same reaction to the book, I did thoroughly enjoy the book. For one, the illustrations are fantastic, and I plan to look for other books illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline. Secondly, it is a great story about the trappings of vanity and the true meaning of love.
I will admit, I did not have a favorite doll growing up. Yes, I had a few dolls that I really enjoyed, like Sally and my Ewok Wicket, but my heart always belonged to Woobie...my beloved baby blanket. Truth be told, the original Woobie went to blankie heaven many many years ago. And the day my mom told me we'd have to put Woobie down, I cried like I'd never cried before. And in an act of unprecedented heroism, my older brother offered his Woobie in replacement. I can honestly say that Woobie 2 has been my constant comfort for almost 30 years. Yep, he still is the first thing I look for when I go to bed at night and the first thing I fold every morning when I wake up.
Reading the Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane makes me wonder what my Woobie thinks of me. In the beginning of the book, Edward is far more concerned with himself than he is the undying love that Abeline gives him. When he's lost at sea, his true adventures begin, and he learns that love is the most important thing. Lucky for me, I've never lost Woobie at sea, but I have forgotten him in many a hotel room, and thus, he is now too old to travel.
I think one of the reasons I enjoyed this book is because, as an adult, we look at the things our children (or in my case, my nieces and nephews) cling to and wonder why on earth they get so attached. But through this story, we realize that there is so much love in the world, and sometimes people, especially children, just don't have the outlets they need to give the love they have. So they choose china rabbits, or even raggedy old blankets. And it is through those seemingly inanimate objects that our children learn to love and care for something outside of themselves.
So I encourage all of you with children to read this book to them, because if nothing else, it will teach them that love is important, regardless of who you give it to.