Joha Makes a Wish

Eric A. Kimmel and Omar Rayyan‘s Joha Makes a Wish is a delightful retelling of a Jewish folktale from Yemen about a man who finds a wishing stick but can’t figure out how to use it. School Library Journal: “In spite of Joha’s angry efforts to rid himself of the troublesome stick, it tightly adheres to his hand, causing much worse trouble when he encounters the sultan in the streets of Baghdad. Kimmel’s well-paced text smoothly builds events and dialogue, leaving the character interpretation to the comic portrayals in Rayyan’s energetic watercolors. Joha is a small man with large hands and feet and a long, thin expressive face beneath a generous turban. His frayed sandals and patched trousers contrast with the splendor of the robust sultan and his armored guards. Joha’s misadventures and the trouble he causes the sultan depart liberally from their folklore and cultural roots but offer an enjoyable escapade demonstrating that universal scheme of the unwitting little guy getting the better of those in power.” Giggle factor: depends on your sense of humor. Adult enjoyment: likely. Illustrations: five jelly jars.

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~ by kaychubbuck on April 14, 2011.

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