FICTION

The Perfectly Perfect Wish

S. & S./Paula Wiseman Bks. Feb. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534406193.
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PreS-Gr 2–A young girl finds an extraordinary gold coin in the grass with the words, “NO WISHING FOR MORE WISHES” on it. She realizes instantly that this means one wish is permitted; no more, no less. Her “perfectly perfect wish,” therefore, must be extra special. The choices are many when she considers the things she personally craves, like a blue ribbon at the horse show, a trip to Japan, or real ballerina pointe shoes. She realizes that these things seem trivial compared to the wishes her good friends truly need: a home of their own, a father back from war, and even a puppy. When she extends her wish to the others, this transforms and elevates it into a sublime “perfectly perfect wish.” The yellow glow featured on each black-and-white spread at the beginning of the story lends it a magical quality, followed by the picturesque explosion of color that follows when each wish is envisioned and then becomes a reality. The colors completely fill the page when the wheelchair-using friend gets a yellow dog, the movers deliver a couch to the other’s first-ever-new-house, and the third is granted his wish for his father to return home from war. Children may notice that, technically, the “one” wish is really “three” separate ones, but this is a relatively minor flaw given that the “one” is given away as an act of goodwill. Overall, the message is one worth savoring: a truly perfect wish is often one–or more–extended toward others.
VERDICT A satisfying storytime read-aloud about the gift of giving and sharing.

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