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Whoosh! Went the Wish

Whoosh! Went the Wish

by Toby Speed, Barry Root (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Unlike Speed and Root's Two Cool Cows, this convoluted story will have young readers puzzling about the windy loopholes in its plot. Lonely, elderly Henry wishes for a cat, but when a city fairy moves to a nearby mountain and offers to grant his wishes, she hears only some of his words, causing each wish to go awry. For example, when Henry shouts, "I want nothing but a cat," most of his wish "whooshes" up the mountain on a white ribbon of wind, while the letters of "but a cat" dangle below, caught in a briar patch. Henry is left where his house once stood, holding a newspaper in lieu of a fig leaf, while the fairy, with her white seed-pod wings, feather boa neckline and star-bangled earrings, assures him she'll fix her mistake. Because the fairy seems to have no trouble hearing other people's wishes and because she makes numerous trips up and down the mountain to check up on her wish-fulfillment, the series of bungled wishes seems terribly contrived. Root's art revels in the changing effects of light, although a golden haze and creamy colors prevail: clouds shadowed pink and lavender drift across an aqua sky over Henry's cozy, wisteria-covered cottage. Despite the humor of the breezy illustrations, the illogical story line makes even the happy endingin which the fairy gets a wish of her ownseem anticlimactic. Ages 4-8. (May)
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Whooosh! Went the Wish is a romp. Henry lives on the mountain and wants a cat. He wishes for a cat. The fairy who lives near him hears his wish and sends it off-"Whooosh"-but, as often happens in the best fairy tales, only part of the wish gets through. The rest gets stuck in bushes, in brambles and in streams, and the part that's granted is not what Henry wanted. How the fairy manages to sort everything out is too good to tell in a review.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3Henry wants a cat for company, and the harried wish fairy attempts to comply, but in this wacky travesty of miscommunication, it takes four tries before they get it right. Some of Henry's wish words keep getting hung up on brambles and bushes before reaching the fairy on her mountaintop. This results in altered requests being granted, much to everyone's disgust. Eventually the disgruntled fairy solves everything satisfactorily and all ends well. Root's insouciant gouache and watercolor illustrations fill the pages with color and are well matched to the text, adding to the fun. Used with Jan Slepian's The Cat Who Wore a Pot on Her Head (Scholastic, 1987) and Chris Raschka's Yo! Yes? (Orchard, 1993), this book could lead to a good discussion on communication.Judith Constantinides, East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Kirkus Reviews
From the team behind Two Cool Cows (1995) comes the sweet story of Henry, who wants nothing more than a cat for company. A disgruntled city fairy is struck by country dweller Henry's sincerity and is happy to help out. Kids will enjoy the fairy's humorous bumbles, as the wishes zoom through the air and words are caught in trees and bushes along the way. After several tries, the fairy comes up with a perfect—and unexpected—solution. Speed spins a comforting, old- fashioned tale, and Root's soft palette adds to the antiquated quality with amiable, expressive characters. A small book with a generous heart.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 8.36(h) x 0.38(d)
500L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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