the power of wishing

by Caroline Magerl - Penguin Books Australia, 2014
ages 2 to grown-up / emotional resilience, heartwarmersread-it-before-you-need-it

This very beautiful picture book is about Rose, who is 'a new face in a new street.' It's a daunting prospect for anyone, young or old!

So Rose looks out her new window and wishes.

Rose knows that she must keep searching till she finds her wish. She calls and searches and tries to show her family what her wish looks like. But her wish has no name.

Rose’s family cope well with this change, but they understand Rose and they love her, so they try to help by cuddling her and playing with her and searching with her. All to no avail. The family begin to despair.

Then, as so often happens when we think we may never find that elusive wish, there it is. The ‘wish thing’. 

Rose takes it home and names it Hasel. With Hasel wrapped around her, Rose finds her way onto the street, where she meets Emm with whom she becomes ‘old friends’.

Change - and confusion about our place in our world - is an inescapable part of life for all of us. So the capacity to move through change is one of the greatest skills we can teach our children. It’s possible, of course, for what feels like a huge and challenging change for one person to appear to be nothing but a ripple to an outsider. And sometimes parents, teachers, family and friends can be that outsider. 

There are some really wonderful words and pictures here that offer significant comfort in times of distress. As we follow Rose and her family in their search, we also see ‘the wish thing’ drawing nearer to Rose. It responds to her calling for it, even though Rose is unaware that it's on its way.

The story is a very nice reminder that as we start to wonder if the things we need even exist, they've been working their way to us all along. 

A nice reminder too, to keep looking and searching for the thing that will give us the courage or the bravery we need to take risks – like heading out into a new street.

For parents, teachers and anyone who loves a child, it’s a reminder that children’s fears and concerns are real and need to be worked through, even if it takes a while. Even if the wish thing that will help them through it seems to have no name and cannot be found anywhere.

Wishing is a wonderful part of how we cope with change of any sort and, in this story, it is valued and respected. It’s nice to remember that wishing is often the beginning of good things to come.

There's fabulous imagery in this book – I especially love the page where Rose and her family are looking out the window together and longing for the wish thing. Each family member is leaning in towards Rose, supporting her and aching for her. A beautiful illustration of family love.

The story will mesmerise some children – the words are lyrical with a slightly off-beat phrasing which perfectly calls its readers to listen and ponder. It’s a story that some will relate to instantly and some will take a little while to warm up to, especially if it feels a bit confronting to them.

It's also a story that adults will love to look at and read aloud, for the gentle reminders they’ll find as much as for the sheer loveliness of it.

You can buy Hasel And Rose via these direct links: Book Depository - Booktopia

Names in this book - Rose