Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane Book Poster Image
Heartless toy finds love in a cruel world.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 26 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 35 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

A moving, lyrical, and for some, too emotionally effective examination of love.

Violence & Scariness

A boy is slapped, a dog is kicked, and a living toy is smashed and broken.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a melancholy little story in which there is cruelty and misery, including a little girl who dies of consumption. Most readers, child and adult, will cry while reading it; at the most extreme, some very sensitive kids might find it too disturbing.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9 year old Written bysiemon April 28, 2011

Ms. Siemon's class review

Our class LOVED this book! Kate DiCamillo created a moving story with a good message for children. The story is about a selfish and egotistical rabbit who doe... Continue reading
Parent of a 5 and 8 year old Written byjennavet June 13, 2009

Fantastic, deep, meaningful book

I am a mother of two boys, 5 and 7. We read this book (a few chapters at a time) and it got to the point where we just couldn't stop until we finished it.... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old May 20, 2011


i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! best book ever.
Teen, 17 years old Written byBlue-Bunny November 7, 2011

A timeless classic...

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is by far one of my most favorite and cherished books. It follows the story of a china rabbit named Edward Tulane who em... Continue reading

What's the story?

Edward Tulane is a three-foot tall toy rabbit, beautifully made, with a wardrobe of exquisite clothes. Like any toy, he cannot move or talk, but he can think. And despite being loved by a little girl, Abilene, he doesn't love anyone but himself.

Abilene's mysterious grandmother tells them a story of a princess who cannot love, and she whispers to Edward, "You disappoint me." Soon after, while on a cruise ship, Edward is thrown overboard by some mean boys, thus beginning an odyssey that carries him through many years to different owners, through humiliation and damage and pain, but enables him gradually to open his heart to others.

Is it any good?

This lovely, lyrical, almost Dickensian tale is certainly a classic in the making. How is it that, at a time when so many authors don't seem to be able to get their readers emotionally involved with their human characters, Kate DiCamillo can have her readers breathless and weeping over a toy rabbit that can neither move nor talk? This is the author's secret, and the key to why this book should last long after others have faded away.

Yes, it is at times mawkish and overwrought: The stunning cruelty of the world to a little boy named Bryce, for instance, left unresolved by the author, borders on being too much. But by that time, even jaded readers won't mind -- they'll be too swept up in the rich and powerful story, enhanced by the gorgeous drawings and paintings by Ibatoulline. The whole volume, in fact, is a treat, printed in perfectly sized type with plenty of white space on creamy paper -- a beautiful edition well worth the slightly higher hardcover price. Don't miss sharing this near-perfect bedtime book with your middle-graders, and don't be surprised if you find your older kids listening in at the doorway.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the path of growth and understanding that Edward follows.

  • What does he learn about love?

  • Why does he try, for awhile, to avoid it?

  • Why is it so important?

Book details

For kids who love simply wonderful stories

Our editors recommend

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate