Joe's Wish

Joe's Wish

by James Proimos
     
 

What does every grandparent and every grandchild wish for? Joe Capri has a wish. He wants to be young again. But before Joe's wish is granted, he spends a day with his grandson, Michael Francis Capri. He tells Michael about the dancing, singing Something or Other, and they talk about how things will change when Joe's wish comes true. That night Michael Francis

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Overview

What does every grandparent and every grandchild wish for? Joe Capri has a wish. He wants to be young again. But before Joe's wish is granted, he spends a day with his grandson, Michael Francis Capri. He tells Michael about the dancing, singing Something or Other, and they talk about how things will change when Joe's wish comes true. That night Michael Francis Capri makes his own wish—he loves his grandfather and wishes for him to stay just the way he is. Joe Capri makes another wish, too. . . .

Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
Should delight kids and adults alike....Fun drawings and even funnier text.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this eccentric tale, a grandfather changes his wish for youth in order to appease his grandson. Joe's eyes "saw Babe Ruth play," his face has "over a million wrinkles," and he exclaims "Oy!" when he bends over. Not surprisingly, Joe wishes to be young again, and in keeping with this volume's quirky humor, he meets a stubby-legged, amoeba-bodied "Something or Other" that acts as his fairy godmother and promises to grant his wish the next day. (A cheerfully silly diagram points out the magic purple creature's "bad smell," "spotted spots" and "379 teeth.") However, when Joe gets together with his grandson Michael, he reconsiders. "Michael thought his grandfather was magnificent," the story explains, but also "needed his grandfather to be his grandfather... just the way he was." First-time author Proimos offsets the pathos with a screwball wit. His distorted but charming characters--reminiscent of the Rugrats kids--are drawn with squiggly black lines and strewn with a sputtery confetti of ink scratches. Affection permeates a cartoon portrait of Joe's wife, complete with hand-lettered labels of "nice smile" and "smelled like fresh bread." "You would've loved her to bits," Joe tells his grandson, alluding to her absence. But despite such a successful balance of comedy and poignancy, Proimos treads on tricky terrain when grandfather and grandson "both got their wishes." Joe "no longer wanted to be made young. He just wanted a lot more days with his grandson." Newfound youth could mean additional years of togetherness, yet Joe prefers to keep his creaky knees. The sentiment is moving, but the conclusion seems illogical. Ages 4-12. (Sept.)
Los Angeles Times
Should delight kids and adults alike....Fun drawings and even funnier text.
Kirkus Reviews
This first effort from Proimos delivers a surprise. At first glance, the artwork, a kind of Ren-and-Stimpy/Krazy-Kat fusion, prepares readers for a subversive, bad-vibe ending. But waitþhere's the story: Old Joe is feeling his years. "His legs were tired. His skin was wrinkled. And when he bent down, he creaked." Making a wish on a star, Joe begs to be "young again," a wish older than he is; a great, gross "Something or Other" appears before him, with "at least two tongues, 379 teeth, hairy armpits, a spiked tail, some sort of problem with leakage," who promises to make good on the wish the next day. Joe can almost taste youth as he goes off to while away the day of waiting with his grandson. They have a fine time; the older man teaches the boy how to make Harpo Marx faces, skip stones, and find his way out of the woods by reading the moss on a tree. That night, Joe and the child send separate wishes off to the stars, not for youth, but for a lot more days together. Their wishes are granted in this astonishing blend of Mad-magazine illustration and sturdy, unshakable sentiment. (Picture book. 4-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152018313
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/01/1998
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.81(w) x 11.28(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
4 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

JAMES PROIMOS is the author and illustrator of Joe's Wish, The Loudness of Sam, The Many Adventures of Johnny Mutton, and Johnny Mutton, He's So Him! He is also the designer and co-creator of Taco Bell's popular animated spokespets Nacho and Dog, and is the co-creator of "Generation O", an animated show from Sunbow Entertainment/SONY wonder. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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