This is a Notable Book for Children
Exposition: This story is about a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. He belongs to a little girl, Abilene Tulane. Edward lives a good life and he gives himself much credit. He is very much the self-absorbed rabbit and pretty much only loves himself. Pelegrina is Abilene's grandmother and she seems to be aware of Edward's arrogance. Everything is Edward's life, from his fine cloths to his fancy lifestyle, is about to change when the family decides to take a trip on a ship.
Conflict: Once the family is on the boat, Abilene takes Edward on deck. He recieves many compliments until he is grabbed by two boys and thrown overboard. He loses his hat and his pocketwatch in the process. As he lies at the bottom of the ocean he is sure that he will be rescued by Abilene but as months pass, he becomes distraught. Then one night he is rescued by a fisherman who takes him home to his wife. The fisherman and his wife live a simple life and Edward finds himself becoming humble, accepting his new name and his meagar belongings. Edward's emotions are changing as well. He finds that he is capable of loving.
Rising Action: Over many years Edward changes owners several more times. Each time he develops stronger emotions. He travels with a hobo and his dog. He hangs from a stick as a scarecrow. He is loved by a dying little girl and her brother.
Climax: When the little girl dies Edward is in complete despair. He is taken to Tennessee with the girl's brother and ends up being slammed onto a counter in a diner. His china head is competly shattered. The boy takes him to be mended and Edward awakes in a doll maker's shop.
Falling Action: Edward is completely mended. The boy had allowed to shopkeeper to keep him in exchange to mend Edward. Edward now belongs to nobody. He sits on the shelf year after year losing hope. After having a conversation with another doll he allows himself to hope. He hopes someone will come for him.
Resolution: One day a girl and her mother walk into the shop. The little girl picks up Edward to show her mother. As the mother leans close to Edward he sees a something shiny around her neck. It's his pocketwatch. And she is Abilene.
This is one of my favorite stories. It is beautifully told in a voice that reflects the time period.
It has beautiful full page illustrations for each chapter. It is a lovely book. Pelligrina had told Abilene a story the night before they left for their trip. It was about a self-absorbed princess that loved no one and was turned into a warthog by a witch. Edward was hardly impressed with the story but over the course of his journey he reflected on that story many times comparing himself to the warthog.
DiCamillo, K. (2006). The miraculous journey of Edward Tulane. New York: Candlewick.