On his way to Baghdad, Joha discovers a wishing stick. But how does it work? Joha makes some wishes, and the opposites come true. His old sandals disappear when he wishes for a new pair. He carries a donkey on his back after wishing for a donkey to carry him. And when the sultan gets hold of the stick, things really get out of control. How will Joha learn its secrets before he wishes himself into more trouble?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
When Joha, modeled after the typical "wise fool" from Arabic storytelling, finds a wishing stick, he makes his first wish without thinking. Joha wishes for new sandals, but he is left barefoot. A series of unfortunate events follow with each wish Joha makes. Eventually, he meets a helpful old store keeper who encourages Joha to think more carefully before using any instrument or gift. In a twist of events, the Sultan of Baghdad insists that Joha give him the wishing stick, and Joha's streak of bad luck ceases.The story reminds me of a lighter version of "The Monkey's Paw," and I consider it to be one of Eric Kimmel's better re-tellings.
In this folk tale-picture book for upper elementary students, Joha finds a stick wrapped in parchment that will grant him three wishes. But instead of receiving everything he asks for, Joha finds himself being granted quite the opposite¿a wish for a donkey to ride turns into Joha having to carry a kicking donkey instead. Ultimately, Joha has an encounter with the emperor who confiscates the wishing stick from him. Unfortunately for the emperor, he does not know how to use the stick, and there¿s a familiar lesson to be learned from the story about not being greedy and appreciating what you have. Charismatic, pastel illustrations by Rayyan excel at presenting a vivid picture of the Middle East, with colorful clothing and bustling marketplaces . For ages 7-9. Recommended.