Kirkus Reviews QR Code
ELLA MAY AND THE WISHING STONE by Cary Fagan

ELLA MAY AND THE WISHING STONE

By Cary Fagan (Author) , Geneviève Côté (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-77049-225-7
Publisher: Tundra

Friendship is hard.

Ella May comes home from the beach with a pretty stone she thinks is magical. She makes a wish on it, and it comes true! Friends Manuel and Amir and Maya come to see her new wishing stone. Ella May declares it too special for them to hold; they set off to find their own. All rush to show Ella May, who rejects them. Nobody stays for lunch, and Manuel calls her mean. He returns pulling a wagon that holds his "amazing machine" (made of a cardboard box), designed to turn ordinary stones into wishing stones. He only charges a penny! The stones of Maya and Amir emerge with telltale stripes, like Ella May's. Both make wishes, for a pony and a moonwalk. Sudden rain washes away Manuel's work, and Maya and Amir again stand disappointed. Feeling guilty and thinking quickly, Ella May rushes into her house and returns with a solution standing for an apology: With a broom and box and bit of ribbon, she fashions a pony for Maya and pulls similar makeshift magic for Amir. Friends again, the four play hopscotch, using their stones as markers. Fagan believably captures the delicate balance of friendship in the very young and lets the story pay out with welcome complexity. Côté's illustrations are simple without being cartoonish, demonstrating the same warm understanding of childhood.

Thoughtful and touching. (Picture book. 4-7)