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by Greg Foley and illustrated by Greg Foley

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-154750-8
Publisher: Bowen Press/HarperCollins

Willoughby Smith doesn’t much like his new home but learns that all is not lost when he discovers a magical wish-giving lion stuck on a rock in his backyard. Willoughby is offered ten wishes to play with, but only a wish for “the most wonderful thing” will free the lion from its perch. After wishing for a riot of kid-friendly indulgences ranging from footwear to food, Willoughby befriends the lion and uses his last wish wisely and well. With enough gold foil to bankrupt the industry accenting the otherwise black-and-white illustrations, Foley’s madcap vision employs multiple styles and techniques and signals an abrupt departure from his previously simple Bear books (Good Luck Bear, above, etc.). Kids will enjoy participating in the wish countdown, though some may be disappointed when they find that not only do Willoughby’s wishes disappear at the story’s end but so does his one and only friend. In spite of this Foley’s signature sweetness is definitely present and accounted for. (Picture book. 4-8)