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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Kate DiCamillo’s Tale Of A Girl And A Squirrel

An illustration from "Flora & Ulysses" by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by K.G. Campbell. (Candlewick Press)

An illustration from “Flora & Ulysses” by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by K.G. Campbell. (Candlewick Press)

Kate DiCamillo is the Newbery Medal winner for “The Tale of Despereaux,” the story of an adventurous mouse. Now, in her new new book “Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures,” DiCamillo gives us Flora, a 10-year-old girl who loves to read comic books.

Flora discovers what she believes is a real-life superhero when a squirrel is vacuumed up in her neighbor’s front yard and emerges with greater strength, the ability to fly and the urge to write poetry.

Kate adopts the squirrel, who she names Ulysses after the vacuum cleaner that almost killed him, but keeping him out of trouble proves to be a challenge.

Kate DiCamillo tells Here & Now that she sees aspects of herself in both of her protagonists.

“Flora Belle Buchman is very much me. But also the squirrel is very much me, because I’m hopeful, and in the words of E.B. White I also love the world. And I’m always hungry.”

DiCamillo also answers a couple of questions from reader Liliana Lines from Brookline, Mass.

Book Excerpt: ‘Flora & Ulysses’


  • Kate DiCamillo, author of “Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures.”

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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