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The Van Gogh Café    by Cynthia Rylant order for
Van Gogh Café
by Cynthia Rylant
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Cynthia Rylant's The Van Gogh Café is a short, simple read about the magic that occurs in everyday life. Ten-year-old Clara loves living in Flowers, Kansas with her dad. Every morning before school, she helps him serve breakfast at the Van Gogh Café.

The Van Gogh Café is located in what used to be a theatre, and Clara thinks that is why so much magic happens in her dad's café. Whether the odd occurrences are magic or just small, everyday miracles that are only really noticed by those looking for the fantastic, is debatable. But to Clara, everything that happens in the Van Gogh Café is extraordinary from an opossum that helps a widower get a new lease on life to a lost seagull that finally finds its way to California - and everything in between.

Although short, The Van Gogh Café is an uplifting read that offers readers a quick pick-me-up for those days when all the magic seems to have disappeared from the world. To Rylant's Clara, there is always magic at the Van Gogh Café, one just needs to step on in.

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