JOE'S WISH by James Proimos


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 12
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This first effort from Proimos delivers a surprise. At first glance, the artwork, a kind of Ren-and-Stimpy/Krazy-Kat fusion, prepares readers for a subversive, bad-vibe ending. But wait—here’s the story: Old Joe is feeling his years. “His legs were tired. His skin was wrinkled. And when he bent down, he creaked.” Making a wish on a star, Joe begs to be “young again,” a wish older than he is; a great, gross “Something or Other” appears before him, with “at least two tongues, 379 teeth, hairy armpits, a spiked tail, some sort of problem with leakage,” who promises to make good on the wish the next day. Joe can almost taste youth as he goes off to while away the day of waiting with his grandson. They have a fine time; the older man teaches the boy how to make Harpo Marx faces, skip stones, and find his way out of the woods by reading the moss on a tree. That night, Joe and the child send separate wishes off to the stars, not for youth, but for a lot more days together. Their wishes are granted in this astonishing blend of Mad-magazine illustration and sturdy, unshakable sentiment. (Picture book. 4-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-15-201831-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1998


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