The Wish

Overview

Winter is lasting forever, the vegetable garden is barren, and Lila is hungry.  All she needs to make it through the winter is some flour for baking bread.  she makes a wish on a falling star.  It works! Luckily, each time the bread is gone, another star falls.  Someone else might have wished for an elaborate feast or extravagant clothes, but not Lila--at least not until her birthday.  That's when she will make a very special wish.

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Overview

Winter is lasting forever, the vegetable garden is barren, and Lila is hungry.  All she needs to make it through the winter is some flour for baking bread.  she makes a wish on a falling star.  It works! Luckily, each time the bread is gone, another star falls.  Someone else might have wished for an elaborate feast or extravagant clothes, but not Lila--at least not until her birthday.  That's when she will make a very special wish.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This trio of Dutch newcomers suggests that even little wishes can bring great happiness. Lila, a red-headed woman in a billowing blue dress and stark-white apron, lives "far away from the rest of the world," sowing seeds, picking beans and making applesauce. She's got a big orange cat, and a neighbor with a red tractor, but in the deep of winter, when she runs out of food, she's on her own. Gerritsen draws the potentially tense empty pantry scene tongue-in-cheek; the cat peers mournfully through an empty glass jar. Lila wishes on a star for enough flour to make bread, and gets it. "Of course, she could have wished for something completely different...," the narrator explains, "a mountain of gold and diamonds, a carriage, and a palace with servants." Fantasy spreads show Lila ill-at-ease in a Cinderella-style ball gown. Lila does, however, hazard one extravagant wish, for "two cakes—and a tractor—shiny red—with a chauffeur." For younger readers who can't connect the dots, Gerritsen depicts Lila and the neighboring farmer tearing through the sunflowers in the tractor, the cat hanging gamely to the smokestack. A heavier-handed setting might have made readers impatient with Lila's stubborn refusal to wish big; as it is, they will wish they could meet Lila themselves. Ages 2-up. (Jan.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal

Gr 1–3
A hearty woman named Lila lives on a cliff above the sea "far away from the rest of the world." For three seasons of the year, she works her fields. Clad in a navy dress, white pinafore, and head scarf, she sows sunflowers, picks beans, and collects apples. Her only companion is a curious striped cat. Then, during the long, cold winter, she sits by her fire. When her vegetables and applesauce run out, the dauntless Lila wishes on a star and finds a bag of flour on her doorstep the next day. Every time she runs low on food, she makes another wish and receives more flour. Although she could have requested riches, finery, or a grand feast, Lila doesn't. She saves her most special wish for the night before her birthday. She leans on her windowsill, peering out into the dark night, and asks for "two cakes and a tractor—shiny red—with a chauffeur." The no-nonsense tale is enhanced by distinguished watercolors that tell a hidden love story. The alluring tractor driver's farm at the base of the cliff appears on the periphery of Lila's solitary life in several illustrations. The subdued golds, greens, and blues reflect the story's gentle tone. Originally published in the Netherlands, this old-fashioned fable is reminiscent of M. T. Anderson's Me, All Alone, at the End of the World (Candlewick, 2005).
—Linda L. WalkinsCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
The happiest life is a busy solitude. Lila lives far from the world with her cat, on a cliff overlooking the sea. She works in the field from morning ‘til night: sowing sunflowers in the spring, picking beans in the summer, collecting apples in the autumn, and in the cold winter, sitting by the fire. When the food runs out, Lila wishes upon a falling star. Next day she receives a bag of flour. She makes enough bread for a week, then wishes again. Thus, she survives the winter. Lila could have made grand wishes-a mountain of gold, elaborate food, fancy clothes-but the thought never crossed her mind. On her birthday, she wishes for-and gets-two small cakes and a shiny red tractor. While the text is minimal, each of Gerritsen's two-page watercolors is a story in itself. Adults should enjoy this subtle parable as much as children. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932425918
  • Publisher: Lemniscaat USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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