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Let me just say, I’m so glad we “read” The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo on audiobook. It is a tear-jerker. But in the best way.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is the story of a much-loved china rabbit. The only problem is, he doesn’t love back.

The china rabbit, Edward Tulane–unlike most toys in stories–is unable to move or speak. He is just a toy, but he has an entire life of the mind going on inside.

His owner, Abiline, just adores him and treats him as though he were a real person. Edward is proud and selfish. One night, Abiline’s grandmother, Pelegrina, who gave her Edward, tells a story of a princess who is unable to love. Then she leans down and whispers to Edward, “You disappoint me.”

Soon after, Edward is lost. He spends time at the bottom of the sea, with an elderly couple, with a hobo and his dog, and with a dying girl. And little by little, his heart begins to open.

You’ll probably see the ending coming, but your kids won’t. This story is really a beautiful one to read.

Perhaps being unable to love seems like a heavy subject for children, but I think it is quite relevant. Children tend to believe the world revolves around them, much like Edward does. Following Edward’s journey, learning to love each person as they are, may open your child’s heart in the same way that Edward’s is opened.

And if you were planning to read this aloud, I highly recommend the audiobook (or a box of tissues).

What children’s book has made you cry? Tell me about it or about any other book you love below!