cover image The Fish of Small Wishes

The Fish of Small Wishes

Elana K. Arnold, illus. by Magdalena Mora. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-2507-6532-1

In a story with echoes of both “The Fisherman and His Wife” and The Carp in the Bathtub, a brown-skinned girl encounters a fish whose one wish-granting catch proves key to change. After other children, portrayed with various abilities and skin tones, head indoors, lonely Kiki Karpovich finds a giant fish stranded on the asphalt and carries it home. Revived in Kiki’s family bathtub, the fish offers to grant one wish. Kiki’s request for friends prompts an apology—“I am a fish of small wishes,” Arnold writes—and with every “too big” wish, the girl notices the fish growing. Seemingly concerned over its well-being, Kiki acts bravely and, through her actions, sees all of her wishes come true. Mora’s strokes of gouache, layered with inks, colored pencil, and digital collage, depict a blue-green world bubbling with possibility in this folktale-feeling work. An author’s note concludes. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)