One of my favourite stories of all time is the tale of Aladdin from Arabian Nights. If for some reason you’ve just joined us from a galaxy far away and have never heard of this folk tale of seen the Disney animated version, let me tell you a little about it.
Aladdin is a young lad who is poor but pure of heart living in a bustling city. He is recruited by a sorcerer who promises him riches if he retrieves a special oil lamp from a magic cave. The sorcerer doesn’t care about Aladdin and only wants the magical lamp and when the sorcerer tries to double-cross him, poor Aladdin finds himself trapped in the cave. In despair he rubs the magic ring the sorcerer gave him and a genie pops out, then he finds the magic lamp and takes it home. When the grungy lamp is cleaned another more powerful genie pops out and grants him three wishes.
Through the genie, Aladdin becomes wealthy and marries the princess but with his wish fulfillment also comes added problems and has a dust-up with the sorcerer but not to worry in the end it all works out and he lives happily ever after!
I’ve always loved the adventure of this tale and its exotic locale but mainly I just love that Aladdin gets to make three wishes!
You see one of my favourite pastimes is wishing. I’ll be you didn’t know that was a hobby but yessiree Bob, I believe it is. In fact for me, wishing ranks way above even the “what if game” (a personal fave of my husband –as in “Okay honey, what if there is a fire and you can only save your game worn Wendel Clark jersey or me, which would you choose?) and even trumps daydreaming!
The reason I love wishing so much is that it’s an opportunity to let your imagination run wild and not be bound by any of those icky buzz-killers called “realities” or “bills” or even worse “retirement savings” (yes, kids all the joys of adulthood). Now I understand that some of you might argue that spending a great deal of time wishing actually means you are not happy or appreciative of your current situation, which I get, but for this purpose I am focused only on the fanciful and magical part of wishing. You know, wishing on stars, writing your secret one in a journal and crossing your heart, hoping for the unimaginable, not being bound by annoying constraints like societal norms or gravity, you know, that kind of thing.
Well, that’s exactly the kind of thing you find in Edward and the Eureka Lucky Wish Company by Barbara Todd and illustrated by Patricia Storms (ISBN: 9781554532643, Kids Can Press, 2009)!
(Cover image Copyright@2009 Patricia Storms)
Edward wants to fly and he’s even built a machine –the Sky-Hopper 2000-in which to do it! But when the Hopper 2000 doesn’t take off as it should, Edward heads to the park for a hot dog instead. There he discovers the Eureka Wish Company and purchases a ticket for three wishes!
The trouble, Edward finds out, is that wishes are trickier than he ever imagined and just like Aladdin discovers, you always have to be careful what you wish for!
(All illustrations Copyright@2009 Patricia Storms)
I love everything about this book: the wild abandon of Edward’s creativity, the silliness, and the zany hijinks (come on –who doesn’t love zany hijinks?!) and especially the cartoonish feel to the illustrations which really make the imaginative text come alive!
This is a great book to encourage a child to explore their own wild wishes and to remind them to keep dreaming and would be a perfect gift to inspire and ignite the imagination of any little one! Eureka is really the kind of present that a kid keeps forever and eventually passes to their own children (talk about giving a gift with less environmental impact and value-for-money!)
Todd knows a thing or two about imagination as she’s started writing after a visit from Sheree Finch in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut assured the audience that “anyone can write a poem”. Ever since, she has crafted two previous children’s books and scores of nutty poems!
Todd has a twin sister and has travelled the world (not in her Sky –Hopper 2000 I imagine!). The day after graduating from university, moved with her husband to Bangalore, India, where she worked with children with special needs. Later, she worked as a teacher-storyteller in Toronto, and then home-schooled her three children for the next ten years in the Arctic and Halifax. She lived and worked as a writer of wild and quirky children’s picture books in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and has since returned to her birthplace, Toronto where she continues storytelling through her writing.
Storms describes herself on her blog as: Humorous illustrator, cartoonist, avid wish-maker, bibliomaniac, recovering peanut butter addict, currently being creative in Toronto, Canada.
Did you happen to catch “avid wish-maker” in there? Awesome! And I have to ask, does anyone really recover from a prolonged addiction to peanut butter?
Storms (who has the greatest last name ever) draws children’s and humorous illustrations on a freelance basis and some of her clients include Scholastic Canada, Kids Can Press, Owlkids Books, Chronicle Books, TD Bank, Wiley Publishing, Barnes & Noble, Harcourt Canada, American Greetings and The National Post.
When I asked my husband what his three wishes would be, I was a little surprised that two of his three wishes were exactly the same ones I had; to have two more healthy and beautiful children and to be financially sound for all of them. I was a little shocked that an evening with Salma Hayek didn’t crack his top three and not in the least shocked that number three involved a certain hockey team winning a certain cup!
My third one, you ask? To have three more wishes, of course!
(I don’t need to wish you will get this book….I know you get how amazing it is)
What are your three wishes?