Ella May and the Wishing Stone

Overview

When Ella May finds a smooth stone with a line going all-all-all the way around it, she is convinced it has magical powers. Surely such a stone will grant wishes, she thinks. But when her friends want to join in the fun, Ella May says that the stone is too special. Slowly she comes to realize that keeping the stone all to herself is a sure way to lose friends. By using her imagination, Ella May finds a way to make everyone's wishes come true-including her own.

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Overview

When Ella May finds a smooth stone with a line going all-all-all the way around it, she is convinced it has magical powers. Surely such a stone will grant wishes, she thinks. But when her friends want to join in the fun, Ella May says that the stone is too special. Slowly she comes to realize that keeping the stone all to herself is a sure way to lose friends. By using her imagination, Ella May finds a way to make everyone's wishes come true-including her own.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…Fagan believably captures the delicate balance of friendship in the very young and lets the story play out with welcome complexity. Côté's illustrations are simple without being cartoonish, demonstrating the same warm understanding of childhood. Thoughtful and Touching”
Kirkus Reviews
 
 “…Cary Fagan… does a great job here with both the fun, engaging story, and the fine tricks of repetition and structure that make Ella May and the Wishing Stone ideal for early reader. Geneviève Côté’s watercolour illustrations are lively and simple, focusing on the kids themselves and hewing closely to the narrative…. The net result is an original and imaginative treatment of one of the hardest lessons of early childhood –sharing –in a colourful package that’s likely to charm kids and adults alike.”
Quill & Quire

“Côté’s…illustrations drive the story along with light and expressive outlines and wash effects… children won’t have any difficulty following the action, and they’ll recognize Ella’s conflicting impulses.”
—Publishers Weekly

“…the little girl uses her imagination to reconnect with her friends, and realizes that they are far more important than wishes. Ultimately, she is able to grant everyone’s wishes, including her own.”
The Waterloo Region Record

“…The charming drawings by Geneviève Côté depict a late summer’s day on the sidewalk. It’s easy to forgive Ella May when she finally comes to her senses and realizes that friends are much more important than possessions….”
Montreal Review of Books

Publishers Weekly
Fagan (Book of Big Brothers) draws a bead on sometimes prickly friendships in this portrait of Ella May, whose new wishing stone, brought back from vacation, has a pretty white line that goes "all-all-all the way around it." She holds the stone and its reputed powers over her neighborhood friends ("Nope and double nope," she says, noting that the wishing stones they've found don't have the right kind of line) and metes out judgment as their stones fail to work. (Ella May tends to reveal her wishes after they've happened, thus ensuring her stone's effectiveness.) Only when her friends retreat does she repent, fulfilling their wishes with lowly but imaginative creations—a box-and-broom assembly for Maya, who wished for a pony, and a tin-foil and pipe-cleaner astronaut helmet for Amir, who wanted to walk on the moon. Côté's (Noni Says No) digital illustrations drive the story along with light and expressive outlines and wash effects. Though it reads more like a chapter from a middle reader than a picture book, children won't have any difficulty following the action, and they'll recognize Ella's conflicting impulses. Ages 4–7. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Ella May has bought home from the beach a smooth stone with a line going all around it. She happily sings a song about this "wishing stone." When her best friend Manuel denies its power, Ella May wishes that she can show it to all her friends and the wish "comes true," so she does. But she won't let any of them hold it. They all go looking for their own wishing stones, but she insists that none of the stones they find are true wishing stones. Meanwhile, all of her other wishes "come true." Manuel then comes along with a machine that he claims will turn any stone into a wishing stone at the cost of a penny. And indeed, stones do come out with a line going "all-all-all the way around." However, the rain soon washes the lines away. Ella May should feel good, but she doesn't. How she gets her friends to return makes for a happy ending with a lesson for readers. A casual scratchy black outline depicts the interactions of suburban kids, while bits of color add to their shapes. All the art is digitally created, adding to its lightweight appearance in this both humorous and serious story. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Imaginative Ella May returns home from the beach with a rock encircled in a thin white line and dubs it her "wishing stone." After explaining to her friends Manuel, Maya, and Amir that the stone makes her wishes come true, they all set out to find one of their own. Ella May rejects their rocks as not being "special" like hers and is soon sitting alone on her porch, realizing that she hasn't been very kind. She remedies this with creativity and thoughtfulness as she helps to make her friends' wishes come true. Each figure and object is outlined in sketchy black and casually filled in with soft, summery, pastel watercolors. The story includes several understated lessons for youngsters, such as getting along, being considerate, and using your imagination.—Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781770494107
  • Publisher: Tundra
  • Publication date: 2/11/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

CARY FAGAN is an award-winning author of several books for adults and children. His work has garnered the Toronto Book Award, the Jewish Book Committee Prize for Fiction, the Mr. Christie Silver Medal, as well as two Silver Birch Honor Book Awards. His recent picture books include Ella May and the Wishing Stone, Thing-Thing, My New Shirt, and Ten Old Men and a Mouse. He has authored the popular series about the devilish Kaspar Snit - The Fortress of Kaspar Snit, Directed by Kaspar Snit, and Ten Lessons for Kaspar Snit - as well as the adventurous Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas. Cary Fagan lives in Toronto.

Geneviève Côté has won many awards and honors, including the Governor General's Award for Children's Illustration and the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award. Her art has appeared in such publications as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and L'actualité, as well as in a number of children's books, including Noni Says No and her own Me and You and What Elephant? Geneviève Côté lives in Montreal.

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