Water Wishes

Overview

Nine-year-old Polly and her younger brother, Sam, find a corked bottle at the beach. Inside is an ancient parchment promising three wishes. Before their adventure is over, older brother Joe will disappear and Polly and Sam will have to journey under the sea to get him back! This first book in the new Magic Elements quartet combines magic and adventure in an easy-to-read format perfect for the in-between reader.

While staying at the beach for the summer, ten-year-old...

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Water Wishes

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Overview

Nine-year-old Polly and her younger brother, Sam, find a corked bottle at the beach. Inside is an ancient parchment promising three wishes. Before their adventure is over, older brother Joe will disappear and Polly and Sam will have to journey under the sea to get him back! This first book in the new Magic Elements quartet combines magic and adventure in an easy-to-read format perfect for the in-between reader.

While staying at the beach for the summer, ten-year-old Polly and her younger brother Sam find a message in a bottle, providing them and their thirteen-year-old brother with exciting and scary adventures.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With water as its theme, the inaugural volume of The Magic Elements Quartet drowns in extraneous detail, sodden dialogue and a plot that is anything but watertight. While vacationing at the beach, 10-year-old Polly and seven-year-old Sam spot a glass bottle bobbing in the water; a note inside promises to grant three wishes. After several failed attempts, Polly makes a wishto become a mermaidthat comes true. Though the sequence of events gets murky, next the siblings 13-year-old brother, Joe, apparently gets hold of the bottle and is granted his wish to become Neptune. Meanwhile, Polly and Sam discover that his transformation seems to have wiped out everyone elses memory of their older brother. The plot becomes even sillier as Polly and Sam make their final wishto locate Joeand transform, respectively, into a mermaid (again) and an octopus, and find themselves in an underwater city; the rules that applied to Pollys wish (she reverted to her normal body after 24 hours) dont apply to Joes situation. Outlandish without being at all magical, this tale is summed up in a comment that Polly makes when she and Sam, so engrossed in their new serpentine identities, forget all about their mission to find Joe: Were wasting time! she exclaims. Readers of this washed-out tale will likely feel the same way. Ages 8-10. (May)
Children's Literature - Judy Chernak
Subtitled "The First Book in The Magic Elements Quartet," this chapter book seeks to combine an awareness of science (water is an element) with fairy tale, adventure, and a bit of ecology. Aimed at grades 3 to 5, it should be a page turner but flounders in the shallows of political correctness and predictability. An old green bottle washes up on the beach; inside is a parchment note promising three wishes; Polly and Joe rack their brains to decode the mystery and enter a watery undersea kingdom as their reward. Well, I would hope third to fifth graders would be into more challenging books...but don't hold your breath because there are three other elements in the works. Also to its detriment is a poor binding job which (Wow! Maybe that's part of the intent!) crinkles the pages as if they've actually been submerged prior to publication. Note: after passing the book on to two readers ages 10 and 11, who thought it was absolutely wonderful, readers should probably give it a look and decide for themselves).
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-A poorly imagined fantasy. Ten-year-old Polly and her 7-year-old brother, Sam, nearly drown while trying to retrieve a bottle bobbing temptingly on the ocean waves, but are saved by their surly, no-longer-fun-to-play-with teen-aged brother, Joe. They are disappointed when they can't find the bottle afterwards, and more than a little surprised when they discover it the next morning on Joe's dresser. Inside the bottle they find a note granting them three wishes "of this element," and after a little trial and error, they manage to get the promised fanciful adventure started. The upshot is Joe's disappearance, which no one seems to notice except for Polly and Sam, who have to figure out where he is and rescue him. There is nothing compelling about this story-the characters and dialogue are uninteresting and unconvincing, and the plot seems to have been constructed with convenience rather than logic in mind. For a classic story about wishes, try Edward Eager's Half Magic Harcourt, 1954, or suggest Franny Billingsley's Well Wished S & S, 1997 and Bill Brittain's The Wish Giver HarperCollins, 1983.-Carrie Schadle, Beginning with Children School, New York City Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679892168
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Series: Magic Elements Quartet Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 410L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.35 (w) x 7.65 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Not only is Mallory Loehr a talented author, but she’s also editor in chief of Random House Children’s Books. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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