Joe Maloney is blessed with a fat little genie who resembles Aladdin's only insofar as he offers Joe three wishes. The first -- a wish to stay home, from school is a flop because the genie chooses chicken pox as the means. The second -- a wish for a magic lamp also fails since the magic in the genie's lamp is only its capacity to light up. Joe has much better luck with his third wish -- a male playmate to offset the doldrums of a female ridden home life. The humorous characterization of the genie, the witty dialogue that ensues and the originality of approach makes this an ideal story for second and third graders.