When you wish…

Posted on: 21 August 2011

The Big Wish by Carolyn Conahan

Warning! If you blink, you might miss it: that magical period when your child believes anything is possible. It may last a year, a few months or merely days, but it is that time when your child is amazed by all that seems unexplainable–such as the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, super heros (and heroines) and even the power of a wish made while blowing a piece of dandelion fluff.

This summer, my daughter Elizabeth would not let any piece of dandelion fuzz float past without grabbing it to launch another secret wish. We have spent the past few weeks jumping and chasing after every piece we see. I don’t mind because she is about to turn seven, and I know these days of childhood will be over way before I’m ready for them to be.

In The Big Wish, Molly’s yard is covered in dandelions–so many, the town’s mayor believes it is a disgrace. Molly explains that she is the guardian of these flowers until they become wish-puffs ready to achieve a world-record wish. A chance for a wish?! The town decides to hold a contest for the biggest, best wish, with Molly deciding the winner. What should the big wish be? The town characters have plenty of ideas that go beyond the personal and indulgent (along the way, you can ask your child–and yourself–what the wish should be). When the yellow dandelions have become wish-puffs, the townspeople must suddenly all spring to action to protect the field of dreams. Molly in return recognizes that everyone’s wish is of value. These actions help the townsfolk realize that they have the power to make their wishes come true. The biggest wish event may be officially over, but the dreams and community actions to make them happen have just begun.

It took us a few readings and examination of the illustrations to realize the full beauty of this story. Give it a bit more of your time than a typical picture book. It has a message worth appreciating and passing along.

What will you wish for?


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