A young lad home alone, restless and fretful, head full of magic tales; a mysterious ""jinn jar"" he has been repeatedly warned not to touch; a golden-eyed cat that may be more than she seems--and the stage is set! To Juma, school is a dull place of sums and script; he would rather listen to the sea's song and write poetry. He opens the forbidden jar, and to his amazement, a friendly woman with catlike eyes appears, to grant him three wishes. Of course, his first two are foolish (to be taken to a place without schools or learning, and then to a place where everything is already known), his last is wise (""I want to be taken to a place where everything is new, where there are things still to learn""); and back he goes to his old life, with a new appreciation of it. As usual, Miko-laycak's crowded, richly colored illustrations look like details cut from a larger canvas; they capture the Arabian Nights flavor of the story perfectly. The author has chosen Lamu, a small island off the coast of Kenya, as the location for this original modern tale, but Juma could be a child of any culture.