I Wish I Had. . .

( 1 )

Overview

With its sharp eyes, the blackbird can see every blade of grass in the meadow. The wings of the wild goose can carry it far away. And the song of the whale fills the wide ocean. Each animal has skills and beauty wholly unique to itself. And in this lyrical book, a child describes the skill and the beauty possessed by various animals.

Giovanna Zoboli's fluid and lyrical descriptions, complemented by Simona Mulazzani's bright and charming ...

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Overview

With its sharp eyes, the blackbird can see every blade of grass in the meadow. The wings of the wild goose can carry it far away. And the song of the whale fills the wide ocean. Each animal has skills and beauty wholly unique to itself. And in this lyrical book, a child describes the skill and the beauty possessed by various animals.

Giovanna Zoboli's fluid and lyrical descriptions, complemented by Simona Mulazzani's bright and charming illustrations, will leave the reader charmed by its sense wonder and awe.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
First published in Italy, this simple, graceful, and even majestic meditation reflects on the beauty and strength of familiar animals. “I wish I had the eyes of a blackbird to see every blade of grass growing in the meadow,” Zoboli begins, as Mulazzani offers a striking close-up of a blackbird whose golden eye is fixed on the viewer and who stands in a thicket of delicately drawn grass and weeds. In a spread as richly worked as a medieval tapestry, a deer strides through a dense stand of fruit-laden trees, its antlers morphing into branches thick with birds and leaves. The first-person wishes draw readers into a relationship with the animals, and the paintings add to the magic with dreamy and sometimes funny elements, like the two mice who share orange juice at a small table perched atop a larger one (“I wish I had the quick heart of a mouse as it makes its escape”). With poetic language and paintings that carry something close to the impact of icons, Zoboli and Mulazzani offer an attitude of reverence for the natural world. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Anita Lock
Have you ever wished you had a tail that could swing you from place to place like a lemur? Have you ever wished you had nimble legs that could run and dodge like a hare? Ask children anywhere around the world these questions and their answers will inevitably be "yes." Why? Children desire to imitate animals because of their familiar characteristics; for example, frogs are known for hopping as snakes are known for slithering. But did you ever wish to have the forest of thoughts of a deer listening in the woods, or the quick heart of a mouse as it makes its escape? These are but a few of the unfamiliar traits featured alongside the familiar in this thought-provoking book, originally written in Italian. Young readers have an opportunity to soar into wishful imagination while adults can reflect on building life skills through Zoboli's poetic first person narrative that highlights fourteen well-known animals. Reminiscent of Edward Hick's The Peaceable Kingdom, Mulazzani's two-page illustrations will also invite readers through the watchful eyes of these tranquil yet playful creatures to view life through their perspective. Children will also enjoy making connections between the illustrations and accompanying text on the front and back covers, as well as searching for a dragonfly featured on the beginning endpapers. Do not miss the collage of Mulazzani's original sketches on the back endpapers. This fascinating book that is certain to make a wonderful addition to your child's bookshelf. Reviewer: Anita Lock
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—An unidentified narrator wishes to possess many different attributes of animals, such as "the contentment of a dog in winter when the snow falls outside," the silence of a tiger in the jungle, the "night-black coat" of a panther, a whale's song, and the "nimble legs" of a hare. Each wish calls for one poetically expressed trait. This concept is then explored by the dazzling full-bleed paintings. Page by page, readers are immersed in a quiet, dreamlike world. The book has much whimsical detail to pore over in each scene, with repeating motifs to suggest an interconnection and tie the spreads together. The gorgeous artwork playfully interprets the text to create a captivating work.—Laura Hunter, Mount Laurel Library, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
The unseen and unnamed narrator of this Italian import wishes for many lively and thoughtful things. That child wishes for the eyes of a blackbird, so to see every blade of grass in the meadow, the "forest of thoughts" that a deer listens to in the woods and the wings of a goose on the first day of flight. The narrator wants to have the "quick heart" of a mouse escaping the cat, the voice of the whale and the gaze of the owl. While these many wishes are sometimes awkwardly phrased in English and don't have much music behind them, the pictures go a long way toward capturing the magic. The blackbird, a dark matte shape across two pages, is in a meadow of feathery grass fronds and delicately sketched wildflowers. Two mice sip from tiny glasses of orange juice while two others alertly try to hide from the oncoming cat. The lemurs swing from branches that are actually urban apartments. The last wish is for the ears of an elephant "to hear what the heavens say," and that elephant has images of animals, trees, birds and flowers sketched all over his body, like gossamer tattoos. Images to return to again and again, with the text a jumping-off point to a sweet philosophy. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802854155
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 3/1/2013
  • Pages: 1
  • Sales rank: 325,070
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD800L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 12.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Giovanna Zoboli is an Italian author and editor. She has written several award-winning books for young readers. Giovanna lives in Italy.

Simona Mulazzani is an international children's book illustrator. She has won a number of awards for her work and has illustrated over 60 children's and adult books. She also lives in Italy.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 20, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Delightful pictures and fun story of a child wishing they could

    Delightful pictures and fun story of a child wishing they could have some of the best parts of animals.




    I Wish I Had... is a great book for children 2 to 7 years old.  It teaches children about specialness of each of the animals. The illustrations are superb.   Each sentence on each animal is sometimes surprising because some of the descriptions are wonderful but not the first thing you think of when you see, a blackbird or a mouse.




    Loved it and think that most children will love it too.



     

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