by Morna Macleod Print book : Fiction : Juvenile audience
The Wish in the Bottle   (2008-08-03)
ISBN 0590629700 – While the multitude of kids’ series books are nice, it is always fun to come across the periodic stand-alone story. That The Wish in the Bottle is likely to appeal to both boys and girls is an added plus in my eyes.
Lani, Laurie and Mark are siblings: Lani is the oldest, then Mark and, last but not least, Laurie. Their family is spending the summer at Lincoln Pond and today, finally, the children have been allowed to row across the pond alone to picnic. While the older children bird watch, Laurie slinks off with Mark’s butterfly net and spots a very unusual looking butterfly. Capturing it and putting it in a jar, Laurie keeps her catch hidden from her siblings until that night, when the glow from the jar keeps her awake. The three children find that Laurie hasn’t caught a butterfly at all – she’s captured a fairy! Not just any fairy, either. Ocavia is Queen of Avia and she must get home to protect her people from the bats who have been eating them, so a deal is struck: the children will get three wishes and Ocavia will get her freedom. Simple enough? Sure, if things had gone that smoothly!
The only real negative for me was the similarity of Lani’s and Laurie’s names, which – since I just met these characters – sometimes made it difficult for me to remember which was the oldest and which was the baby of the family. There’s nothing particularly novel in the “three wishes” story, of course, but MacLeod does a great job of weaving the ongoing story of the fairies and the bats into the story of the children who (aside from an early slip) plan to think very carefully before wasting their wishes. What they learn, the reader learns, so there’s a message in here, for parents who look for those, and a fantasy adventure for the kids who look for those. The illustrations (no illustrator listed) are nice pencil sketches, not numerous enough to make an older child feel like he or she is reading a “baby book”, but enough to please the younger ones. The back cover says RL5, ages 7-12. (copyright, AnnaLovesBooks, 2008)
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