Ella May and the Wishing Stone

Overview

One day, Ella May finds a stone that has a line going all-all-all the way around it. Surely a stone this special must grant wishes, she decides. Soon she is busy making wishes and bragging about them. When her friends want to share the fun, Ella May objects. But she soon learns that keeping the stone for herself is a sure way to lose friends. By using her imagination – much more powerful than any stone – she is able to grant everybody’s wishes, including her own.

Cary Fagan’s ...

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Overview

One day, Ella May finds a stone that has a line going all-all-all the way around it. Surely a stone this special must grant wishes, she decides. Soon she is busy making wishes and bragging about them. When her friends want to share the fun, Ella May objects. But she soon learns that keeping the stone for herself is a sure way to lose friends. By using her imagination – much more powerful than any stone – she is able to grant everybody’s wishes, including her own.

Cary Fagan’s witty and sharply observed story will delight young readers who are beginning to explore the pleasures and challenges of sharing and friendship.

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Editorial Reviews

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.)
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

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 has written many books for children and adults, including Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas, based on Mordecai Richler’s beloved character. His writing has garnered several honors, including the Toronto Book Award, the Jewish Book Committee Prize for Fiction, and the Mr. Christie Silver Medal. His recent picture books include Ten Old Men and a Mouse, My New Shirt, and Thing-Thing. His novels include The Fortress of Kaspar Snit (Silver Birch Honor Book), Directed by Kaspar Snit (Silver Birch Finalist), and Ten Lessons for Kaspar Snit (Silver Birch Honor Book). Cary Fagan lives in Toronto.

Geneviève Côté has illustrated a number of children’s books, including The Lady of Shalott and La petite rapporteuse de mots. She both wrote and illustrated a few picture books, among which are Me and You and What Elephant? Her editorial art has appeared in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Côté has won several awards, including the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award and the Governor General’s Award for Illustration.

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