Ella May and the Wishing Stone

Cary Fagan, illus. by Genevi%C3%A8ve C%C3%B4t%C3%A9. Tundra, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-77049-225-7
Fagan (Book of Big Brothers) draws a bead on sometimes prickly friendships in this portrait of Ella May, whose new wishing stone, brought back from vacation, has a pretty white line that goes "all-all-all the way around it." She holds the stone and its reputed powers over her neighborhood friends ("Nope and double nope," she says, noting that the wishing stones they've found don't have the right kind of line) and metes out judgment as their stones fail to work. (Ella May tends to reveal her wishes after they've happened, thus ensuring her stone's effectiveness.) Only when her friends retreat does she repent, fulfilling their wishes with lowly but imaginative creations—a box-and-broom assembly for Maya, who wished for a pony, and a tin-foil and pipe-cleaner astronaut helmet for Amir, who wanted to walk on the moon. Côté's (Noni Says No) digital illustrations drive the story along with light and expressive outlines and wash effects. Though it reads more like a chapter from a middle reader than a picture book, children won't have any difficulty following the action, and they'll recognize Ella's conflicting impulses. Ages 4–7. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/20/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
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