Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Flora and Ulysses
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Publisher: Candlewick
Publication Date: 24 Sept 2013
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry—and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart.

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo comes a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting new format—a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black-and-white by up-and-coming artist K. G. Campbell.


What a lovely book.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I said I would review it but it really was a delight.  I know the illustrations were not all finished in the copy I had but they really made the story come alive and I looked forward to seeing them throughout.

We follow Flora and her incredible tale of life with a superhero squirrel, Ulysses.  Ulysses is made into a superhero by a rampant vacuum cleaner and in a heartbeat (literally) he can understand Flora and wants to be able to communicate with her.  As Flora has read The Illuminated Adventures of the Amazing Icandesto!, for years she doesn’t bat an eyelid at this turn of events.

Throw in a romantic novelist Mum, a slightly batty Dad, the boy next door who is temporarily blind and Tootie the lady who sucked Ulysses up in the vacuum and you get one hell of a charming novel.

And if that wasn’t enough Ulysses decides that he wants to write poetry and learns how to use a typewritter.

As I said a charming book that is enhanced by the illustrations that really captured my imagination and heart.