cover image Jubal's Wish

Jubal's Wish

Audrey Wood. Blue Sky Press (AZ), $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-439-16964-6

Pollyanna hasn't a thing on Jubal as the Woods' (The Napping House) passable story opens, ""Once upon a bright and sunny day."" This chipper bullfrog, ""so happy his feet barely touched the ground,"" has a picnic to share. But his overworked neighbor, Gerdy Toad, is too busy with her brood of ""toadlets,"" and Dalbert Lizard, a sad, washed-up sea captain, is not in the mood. When a wizard appears to grant Jubal a wish, the hero hopes for happiness for his pals. Alas, not only do they seem more miserable than ever, but black clouds, thunder and lightning darken Jubal's sunny day--and his spirits. Luckily the storm precedes Jubal's fulfilled wish and a predictable, happy-ever-after conclusion. The wordy text grows flowery (""A splendid feeling of wonder moved up from his toes to the tip of his nose"") and electric, computer-enhanced hues illuminate rather gaudy illustrations, which include several off-putting images of the bug-eyed amphibian and reptilian characters. Ages 3-up. (Oct.)