and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
by Kate DiCamillo,
NEWBERY MEDAL, 2014
Junior Library Guild Selection
TLA Bluebonnet Nominee
2014 Kids Wings Award Book
to her mother's dismay, Flora Belle Buckman was an avid fan of comic books,
especially The illuminated Adventures of the Amazing Incandesto!
Little did Flora's mother know how much her cynical daughter
depended on the inspiration of The Amazing Incandesto
who defined the word "superhero"! It framed her sphere of knowledge
that would serve her well for the astonishing events to come.
Flora's bedroom window overlooked the Tickham back yard. Otherwise she
may not ever have seen the accident that transformed a normal, hungry
squirrel into a dead squirrel. And she may not have been able to run downstairs
in time to shake his little squirrelly body out of the rampaging Ulysses
Super-Suction, Multi-terrain 2000X vacuum cleaner in time to give him
successful mouth-to-mouth resusitation so that he could wake up, transformed
into a superhero squirrel!
did the squirrel remember about his near-death experience? Turn the page
and you'll hear the incident from his point of view ... blackness ...
a beautiful bright light ... a voice that spoke to him, sang to him ...
floating on a cloud of light ... the feeling of perfect joy ... he had
never been so happy. Then, the light faded into darkness again. He heard
a loud noise and another voice counting and shouting "Breathe!"
just before he took a deep, convulsing breath and returned, more than
a squirrel. He was alive with life, purpose, light, happiness, understanding,
and strength, but because he was, after all, still a squirrel, he was
still hungry! Flora named him Ulysses after the vacuum cleaner who started
events in Flora
and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures will
amaze you! In this, your first story about a superhero squirrel, you will
go hand-in-hand with Flora and Ulysses to witness acts of heroism as Ulysses's
superpowers unfold. He will conquer villains, lift the downtrodden, bring
hope to the hopeless, and fly, or ... at least lift heavy vacuum cleaners
with one paw, type poems, and make Flora's father laugh. Fate brings Flora
and Ulysses to meet the kindly Dr. Meeschum who relates her childhood
experiences in Blundermeecen and thereby teaches Flora some deep understandings.
The story reaches deep into human experience when Ulysses, the superhero
squirrel helps turn an unwanted cynic into a believer and delivers a "temporarily
blind" boy who has been banished from his family into the arms of
a loving home.
and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures received the 2014
Newbery Medal, no small feat for such a small-pawed super-squirrel
story, but an exclamation point on Kate DiCamillo's writing prowess! It
is her third Newbery award!
and Ulysses is filled with a multiplicity of unusual formats and merged
writing techniques that sprinkle the story with surprises.
This one has it all!
It is part graphic novel where the
illustrations tell the story. For example, the
introduction starts the action in graphic format with pencil
drawings in comic frames complete with speech bubbles.
It is part illustrated novel with
text and part graphic novel. In Chapter 1, full-page
drawing illlustrates Flora leaning looking out her window but also and
extends the text by showing her leaning on her handbook for dealing with
impending tragedies, Terrible
Things Can Happen to You.
The lively point of view switches
by chapter. For example, Chapter 2 is complete
with illustration and text written in an omniscient
voice focused on Flora Belle Buckman as she
witnesses the malfeasance that occurs in the Tickman back yard.
An omniscient voice focused on the squirrel
who tells the story in next chapter to give readers an inside view of
"The Mind of the Squirrel." The short Chapter
3 is told in an omniscient voice to give
the reader a "God's eye-view," but in Chapter 4, the
omniscient voice focuses on Flora, what she
is thinking, and what she and Mrs. Tickham are doing and saying.
Mixed formats appear, too!
In some chapters the story is told through both text and comic book graphics
with equal strength. Chapter 7 begins with a 1/2 page text that then continues
the events in a page and a half of graphic, comic book frames. You must
read both to understand the flow of the story.
in the story helps the reader visualize the story and its many
puns add even more fun.
An astounding vocabulary
is one of Flora and Ulysses's strengths.
Our Kids Wings unit helps prepare those who prefer preparation for this
windfall of literary treasure and also provides scaffolding for those
who prefer to discover new vocabulary as they read. We believe that quality
literature like Flora and Ulysses
provides an opportunity for students to enjoy mastering their language!
will want a class set of this novel! Not only is it hysterical, surprising,
and heartwarming, but it provides a naturally wonderful vehicle for mastering
skills together, interactively that feed the love of reading! To purchase
your class set at a 20% discount, contact Kids
and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
by Kate DiCamillo
Press Book Trailer for Flora and Ulysses
About Kate DiCamillo
Interview with Kate DiCamillo
K. G. Campbell
Singer's "What Makes a Good Poem?"
(This site includes Poet Jane Yolen's "A
Ken Nesbitt's Poetry
For Kids (You'll LOVE them!)
Don't miss Ken Nesbitt's "My
Teacher Calls Me Sweetie Cakes"
for Teaching Meter in Poetry (high school)
you do the Heimlich Maneuver on a Squirrel?
MD: Choking Rescue Procedure
Scary for Kids: Cyclops
the squirrel have had rabies?
Kids Health: Rabies
for Kids: Rabies
Literature and Media
by Mike Lupica (novel)
Secret of Awesome Man (picture book)
Animated Cartoon: Chicken
Run (only $5)
Award-Winning Novels with Animals as Main Characters
74-page Kids Wings literature guide PLUS interactive Jeopardy-type game,
perfect for lesson plans, handouts, or projection on your SmartBoard
and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
will be available soon!
Kids Wings Activity Guide Contains:
Pre-Reading Discussion Cards
4-Page Choral Reading Script: Superheroes
Themes Woven Into the Story
Preparing Your Intellectual Tools, Dialectical Journal
Hearing Voices, Identifying Point of View
Character Studies as They Appear in the Story
Vocabulary Lists and Chapter Questions in 13 Grouped Chapters
Identify the Point of View of Each Chapter
Figures of Speech: Get the Picture?
Big6 Research as Topics Appear in the Chapters including:
Ulysses, The Heimleich Maneuver, Rabies
Multiple Choice and Short-Answer Questions
Visualizing the Story
Crossword Puzzle: A Multiplicity of Problems
5-in-a-Row Vocabulary Review Games
9 Guides to Turning a Chapter into Dramatic Reading
Logic Puzzle: Is Dr. Meescham a Cynic, Too?
Writing a Summary of Chapter 67
Discussion and Writing Prompts
Holy Unanticipated Poetry: An Analyzing and Writing Poetry Section
Choose Your Own Poetry Frame for Display
Blank Make-Your-Own 5-In-A-Row Vocabulary Board
Plus, a BONUS Interactive Jeopardy-type Game
Thumbnails of the pages:
Award-Winning Books for 2014-2015
and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures NOW!
With special thanks to Axelsia for the background music: Johann II Strauss's
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was selected by the Texas Bluebonnet Award Committee
of the Texas Library Association.
© 2014, Suzy
Red, Lockhart, Texas