cover image Wish


Matthew Cordell. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4847-0875-0

Cordell’s (Rooting for You) intensely personal account of parents awaiting the arrival of a child bubbles over with anticipatory joy. He draws, in his loopy pen-and-ink style, two elephants who live in a house by the ocean. Their new baby sets sail toward them from a tropical island, and they build a boat of their own to meet the baby. At sea, they send forth a beam of rainbow-colored love, but something goes wrong: “We listen.... And we wait... but you never come. And everything stops.” A poignant spread shows the elephants embracing on the deck of their boat under the stars, trunks pressed together in disappointment. While adults can read between the lines (many things can go wrong for couples expecting a child), it’s a moment that may call for some explanation and reassurance for younger readers. At last, though, the baby elephant’s boat arrives in triumph: “You are here.” It’s easy for parents to forget to tell their children how much they longed for them to be born; Cordell provides words and pictures to help. Ages 3–5. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Mar.)