Wish: Wishing Traditions Around the World

Roseanne Thong, Author, Elisa Kleven, Illustrator
Roseanne Thong, Author, Elisa Kleven, Illustrator , illus. by Elisa Kleven. Chronicle $16.99 (36p) ISBN 978-0-8118-5716-1
Reviewed on: 11/03/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008

“The many ways to make a wish wherever home may be” come in for lighthearted yet respectful exploration in this attractive square-format book. Thong (Red Is a Dragon ) entices readers with consistently well-rhymed verses (“We puff on dandelions/ with their fluff as white as milk—/ our wishes sail through the breeze/ on parachutes of silk”), following up each with a brief description of a national custom. Some may be familiar—throwing coins into Rome's Trevi Fountain or offering prayers at Jerusalem's Western Wall—but many will be new to most readers: in India children make secret wishes on peacock feathers and save them in notebooks or diaries. Rendered in Kleven's (The Paper Princess ) kaleidoscopic style, many of the full-bleed spreads nearly shimmer, as in the picture of Brazilian children jumping waves on New Year's Day. The book ends with a multiethnic group of American children blowing out birthday cake candles, inviting readers to look at their own practices from a newly broadened perspective. Endnotes include more information along with an invitation to find 15 lucky symbols hidden in the pictures. Ages 5–9. (Nov.)

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