WHERE WISHES GROW
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publisher: Brownridge Publishing
Number of Pages: 56
A young girl learns that dreams do come true, especially when wishes grow into prayers of the heart. This is the story of eight-year-old Maggie, a pensive and courageous dreamer, whose big heart starts to break when her grandmother becomes bedridden and sick with no recovery in sight. Fortunately Maggie has some wishes in mind to breathe life into Nana and is about to learn the secret for making them come true. Watching Nana’s health fail has been difficult for Maggie and so now much of her time is spent dreaming up wishes for ways she can help her. Maggie conjures up three wishes for Nana she desperately wants to come true: for Nana to see again to enjoy her favorite beautiful things, for her to walk again to visit her favorite places, and for her to speak again so that she and Maggie can sing their favorite songs. The problem is, with wishes this important, Maggie wants to be sure she can realize them; wishing upon stars that may be long dead or relying on birthday candle hoopla just won’t cut it. Thankfully, Maggie’s mother knows the secret for turning wishes into reality…you’ve got to write each wish down and then go plant each one in just the right place. And, as Maggie discovers, retelling the story of how each wish was planted turns out to be the most magical part.
I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.
I really enjoyed this poignant story that handles the very difficult themes of depression and aging in a gentle manner that will resonate quite well with young readers. Children’s books that touch on topics facing the elderly are few and far between, so the fact that this book beautifully captures those ideas in a thought-provoking and engaging way from a child’s perspective makes this a definite standout.
While this book is not religious, it will strongly appeal to faith-based readers with its strong messages on resilience, hope, and love. This book helps to convey those valuable ideas as a means of finding comfort, which are definitely qualities that any reader can benefit from.
The illustrations are soft, almost dreamlike, which work to enhance the gentleness of the tone. As Maggie begins the journey to plant her wishes, the illustrations express the sense of wonder and awe that a child would experience in not just embarking on such an endeavor, but also communicating those emotions to her mother and grandmother. The larger than life moments will draw children in and keep them listening, while also providing inviting perspectives that work to pull readers into both Maggie’s pain yet eventual joy.
Overall, this is a remarkable selection to connect multi-generational families, inspiring and projecting consideration and kindness that will not be lost on children.