Irene's Wish: with audio recording [NOOK Book]


A young girl wants her father to be home more, but her wish takes an unexpected turn in this story of enduring love between parent and child from an award-winning author and illustrator.

Irene loves her family, especially when her father is home. But Papa is gone a lot, and so Irene makes a wish for him to be with the family more. Her wish comes true in an unexpected way when Papa, who was drinking lemonade in the garden at the exact moment ...
See more details below

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (NOOK Kids Read to Me - No Edition)
$12.99 price


A young girl wants her father to be home more, but her wish takes an unexpected turn in this story of enduring love between parent and child from an award-winning author and illustrator.

Irene loves her family, especially when her father is home. But Papa is gone a lot, and so Irene makes a wish for him to be with the family more. Her wish comes true in an unexpected way when Papa, who was drinking lemonade in the garden at the exact moment Irene made her wish, swallows a watermelon seed and begins a surprising transformation. Slowly and beautifully, day after day, Irene’s father turns into a tall, stately, and loving tree. Papa is a beautiful tree, but Irene wants her real Papa back. How could Irene have made such a wish, and how can she make things right?

Jerdine Nolen has written a modern fable about the power of wishes.

A little girl's wish to spend more time with her father comes true when he swallows some seeds and turns into a tree.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Irene's papa has a magic touch, and he can make just about anything grow ("Papa always says, 'If a star can grow inside an apple, anything is possible!'"; "'Seeds,' he says, 'are very full of possibilities.'"). His work keeps him quite busy, and the children wish he could spend more time at home playing with them. The man finds out just how far those possibilities can go when Irene accidentally serves him iced tea filled with the kids' secret stash of seeds. He undergoes a radical transformation, and although he is still loved and considered part of the family, his wife and children long for him to return to normal. As she did in Plantzilla (Harcourt, 2002), Nolen proves again her ability to weave nature and life cycles into fanciful stories that children and adults will enjoy. Although Irene's Wish is a bit text-heavy for some newly independent readers, the themes of family, devotion, and the power of wishing will resonate with many. Ford's illustrations, rendered in acrylics and oil, bring life to the action with deep texture and vivid detail. This book will be a perfect family read, tucking many children in for dreams of grand possibility.—Megan Egbert, Meridian Library District, ID
October 2014 - Booklist
Luminous, saturated acrylics and oil illustrations create a warm, cozy story of a close-knit African American family who just need a priority reset. Lush green trees, brilliant blue skies with fluffy white clouds, and almost tangible textures throughout, especially when Papa is blooming, will captivate readers. A fanciful, cautionary tale that reminds children to be careful what they wish for.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-08-20
A tale of wishes, family and magic of many kinds. Irene, a young brown-skinned African-American girl with billowing locks, makes a wish that changes everything, especially for Papa, a gifted farmer. Irene loves her father but regrets that he's so busy growing things that he rarely has time for her or other family members. After Irene "hope[s] and dream[s] and wishe[s] on all the stars that [sparkle] in the skies and on all the apples that ever dangled from any tree," and Papa drinks the seeds she has accidentally left in his iced tea, a transformation takes place that ultimately gives her what she wants…sort of. Unfortunately, daily access to Papa comes with a price. Like Nolen's Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm (illustrated by Mark Buehner, 1994), this mystical tale raises many questions for readers to ponder long after they close the book. For what, exactly, does Irene wish? How does she unwish it? Is Papa's transformation literal or metaphorical? Who in this family learns the most important lesson from the events that unfold? Ford's acrylic-and-oil illustrations bring readers into close contact with a demographic rarely portrayed in children's literature: a middle-class African-American farming family. The lively images make the magic real.With this book, Nolen and Ford broaden the African-American picture-book palette in ways that are both delightful and memorable. (Picture book. 3-7)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442493230
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/2014
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: NOOK Kids Read to Me
  • Edition description: No Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 931,836
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • File size: 23 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Jerdine Nolen is the author of many award-winning books for children, including Eliza’s Freedom Road, illustrated by Shadra Strickland; Raising Dragons, illustrated by Elise Primavera, which received the Christopher Award; and Harvey Potter’s Balloon Farm, illustrated by Mark Buehner, which won the Kentucky Bluegrass Award. She and Kadir Nelson collaborated on Thunder Rose, which School Library Journal called “a wonderful tale of joy and love”; and Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life, which received the Society of Illustrators’ Gold Medal. Jerdine Nolen lives with her family in Ellicott City, Maryland.
AG Ford is the illustrator of many books for children, including the New York Times bestseller Barack by Jonah Winter, Michelle by Deborah Hopkinson, and Goal! by Mina Javaherbin. He also contributed to Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change by Michelle Cook. He lives in Frisco, Texas with his wife, Brandy. Visit him at
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)