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Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures Press Kit

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures Press Kit

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Published by Candlewick Press

Press Kit for Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by K.G. Campbell. Features Q&A with author Kate DiCamillo.

Press Kit for Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by K.G. Campbell. Features Q&A with author Kate DiCamillo.

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Published by: Candlewick Press on Feb 22, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/17/2013

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo’sNew Novel to Publish September 24, 2013
Somerville, MA — Candlewick Press is pleased toannounce the highly anticipated new novel fromNewbery Medal–winning and
 New York Times
  best-selling children’s author Kate DiCamillo:
 Flora& Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
to be publishedSeptember 24, 2013.It begins, as the best superhero stories do,with a tragic accident that results in unexpectedconsequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuumcleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora BelleBuckman, who has read every issue of the comic book 
Terrible Things Can Happen to You!,
is the just theright person to step in and save him. What neithercan predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been bornanew, with powers of strength, ight, and misspelledpoetry — and that Flora will be changed too, as shediscovers the possibility of hope and the promise of acapacious heart.Kate DiCamillo delivers a laugh-out-loudstory lled with eccentric, endearing charactersand featuring an exciting new format — a novelinterspersed with comic-style graphic sequences aswell as full-page illustrations, all rendered by up-and-coming artist K. G. Campbell.Describing the process of writing the book, KateDiCamillo says, “There is a line from the thirteenth-century poet Rumi that I kept close by as I worked onthis novel:
The grief armies assemble, but I’m not going with them.
For me,
 Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
is a book about joy and laughter, aboutmoving away from grief and turning toward love. Additionally, it is a book about seal blubber.”
On sale 9/24/2013
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6040-6 $17.99 ($20.00 CAN)240 pages • Ages 8–12
illustrated by K. G. Campbell
 
The theme of hope and belief amid impossiblecircumstances is a common thread in muchof Kate DiCamillo’s writing. In her instant#1
 New York Times
 bestseller
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane,
a haughty chinarabbit undergoes a profound transformationafter nding himself facedown on the oceanoor — lost, and waiting to be found.
The Taleof Despereaux 
— the Newbery Medal–winning novel that later inspired an animated adventurefrom Universal Pictures — stars a tiny mouse with exceptionally large earswho is driven by love to become an unlikely hero. And most recently,
The Magician’s Elephant,
an acclaimed and exquisitely paced fable, dares to ask the question,
What if?
Kate DiCamillo’s own journey is something of a dream come true. After moving to Minnesota from Florida in her twenties, homesickness anda bitter winter helped inspire
Because of Winn-Dixie
— her rst publishednovel, which, remarkably, became a runaway bestseller and snapped upa Newbery Honor. “After the Newbery committee called me, I spent thewhole day walking into walls,” she says. “I was stunned. And very, veryhappy.”Her second novel,
The Tiger Rising,
went on to become a National Book  Award Finalist. And since then, the master storyteller has written for a widerange of ages, including a comical early-chapter-book series about MercyWatson (a “porcine wonder” with an obsession for buttered toast), as wellas a luminous holiday picture book,
Great Joy.
Born in Philadelphia, the author lives in Minneapolis, where shefaithfully writes two pages a day, ve days a week.
Kate DiCamilloPublishing Facts& Figures
Winner of theNewbery Medal anda Newbery Honor, aNational Book AwardFinalist, and a
 BostonGlobe–Horn Book
 Award Winner
11
 New York Times
 best-selling titlesin all editions
18.5 million copiescombined in printworldwide
Books translated into39 languages
Two major feature-lm adaptations of her books:
 Because of  Winn Dixie
and
TheTale of Despereaux
About the Author
Illustration © 2013 by K. G. Campbell
 
Q: 
Candlewick has dubbed
 Flora & Ulysses
“genre-bending” because it features a split narrative format incorporating graphic and comics-style layouts and illustrations. Did you write the book this way purposely? Is this a genre you intentionally wanted to experiment with?
A: 
I love it when you guys dub things. I’ve been going around for the last few weeks saying to myself,“I have written a genre-bending novel.” Itmakes me feel zippy. Alas, I cannot takeany credit for the genre-bendiness. Iwrote the novel as straight text. Theeditorial and design geniuses atCandlewick came up with the ideaof doing part of the text as comics.I thought the idea was brilliant, andI said, “Holy bagumba! I will give ita try!”
Q: 
Our entry point into the story of Ulysses is literally and gurativelythrough a vacuum cleaner. Explainhow your own connection to the vacuumcleaner of all vacuum cleaners rst inspiredthis story.
A: 
My mother had an Electrolux tank vacuum cleanerthat she was, um, obsessed with. Actually, she loved thevacuum cleaner. And in a weird way, the Ulysses 2000X,and what happens because of it, is an homage to mymother. My mother loved to laugh. 
Q: 
Were you a comics reader as a child, like Flora? Do youremember having any favorite superheroes?
A: 
What I read as a child, what I
lived
in as a child, wasCharles Schulz’s
 Peanuts.
My brother and I checked out
 Peanuts
anthologies from the Cooper Memorial Libraryand read them from front to back and then started overagain. My favorite superhero is Charlie Brown.
Q: 
Did you have any kind of strong reactions when yourst saw K. G. Campbell’s art for the book? Is it anything like what you envisioned while you were writing?
A: 
I did have a strong reaction. I levitated with joy. It’snothing like I envisioned. It’s better than anything I amcapable of envisioning.
 A Conversation with the Author
Q: 
Another common strand in many of your books isthe emergence of an unlikely hero. Ulysses is about asunlikely as they get. What drew you to a squirrel forthis story?
A: 
Well, there was a squirrel death on the front steps of my house. And I thought, What if the squirrel didn’tdie? What if the squirrel were rescued? It isthat “marvelous what-if” that continues topreoccupy me.
Q: 
Your books have certainly navigatedhumor writing on many levels,particularly the series for youngerreaders. Was it a challenge to sustaina humorous, laugh-out-loud sort of narrative of this length?
A: 
 All I know is that this book neverfailed to make me laugh. I did a lot of rewrites, and I laughed my way throughall of them. This could be because I amcrazy. Or maybe it is because the book isfunny. You decide.
Q: 
Many of your characters have very healthy appetites,even food xations. What is it about food-drivencharacters that you love to write about?
A: 
Well, obviously, if I write about food-driven characters,then I get to write about food. Which means I get tothink about food. Which I love to do. Almost as muchas I like to eat food.
Q: 
 Flora and Ulysses
has a big, bursting heart, and central tothat is Flora’s relationship with her parents. She windsup in a very different place with them by the end of thestory. Can you talk a little about that journey?
A: 
Well, that takes us back to the “marvelous what-ifagain. What if things can be put back together? Whatif there is a way for us to reach out to each other? Whatif there is a way for us to take hold of the people welove? What if we were brave enough to do that? Whatwould happen then?

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