Flora And Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures: Character Analysis

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The strongest friendships can arise from the most unusual of circumstances. The cynical character Flora comes to learn this lesson in Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by the award winning author Kate DiCamillo, where Flora defines what true love and friendship are through a journey full of hardships. Struggling to cope with her parents’ divorce, Flora feels like the only things she can turn to are comic books, when suddenly she discovers a squirrel that is able to fly and comprehend what she is saying, who she names Ulysses. When her mother expresses her desire to kill Ulysses, Flora is convinced that Ulysses’ arch nemesis is her mother. On adventures with an extremely eclectic group comprised of a magic squirrel, a neighbor who…show more content…
In an article from the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, Jia Liu states, “Very young children don’t see animals as ‘other’, instead, they believe that animals have human characteristics. The appeal of animals as people can create a sense of emotional connection, making it easier to get involved in the story and remember it.” This quote explains how animals appeal to children and why books featuring animal characters are so effective in drawing young readers in. Ulysses the squirrel is seen as the “hero” by Flora, not only because of his special abilities, but because of his caring nature, shown when Ulysses types, “Nothing would be easier without you, because you are everything.” (Epilogue). This quote shows how much of the focus of the book is centered around Ulysses, the hero, which is an appealing factor of the book to young readers. As said by children’s author Tom Moorhouse, “In animal fiction the worlds are really different, and viewed through non-human eyes. The adventures are exciting because you can be hunted by a predator, swept away by a river, or battered by the weather. But the stories also have built in safety-valves because the characters aren’t human. And so authors can — carefully — go to more difficult places.” In this quote,…show more content…
Mahnaz Dar of the School Library Journal says that, “Author Kate DiCamillo has always gotten kids reading, whether by writing mesmerizing stories, like the Newbery-winning The Tale of Despereaux (2003) and Flora & Ulysses (2013, both Candlewick), or by advocating for the importance of literacy” (Dar). This quote shows how when children recognize authors that have written some of their favorite books, the author’s credibility increases in the child’s mind, causing them to be more encouraged to read books written by the same author. Kate DiCamillo has won numerous awards, proving what a beloved, talented author she is, such as 2014 Newbery Medal or 2014 E.B. White Read Aloud Award, and 22 more awards for Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures alone. The fact that she has won such a large amount of awards for her literature shows how much her readers enjoy her books along with what a respected author she is, which can have the power to influence kids to read Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. In addition to winning many awards, Kate DiCamillo was also appointed to an honorable position on January 10, 2014,“Kate DiCamillo is not only one of our finest writers for young people, but also an outstanding advocate for the importance of reading,” said Librarian of Congress
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