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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Be careful what you wish for. How many times have we been told that over the years? It’s a valuable lesson for all of us to learn, young and old. Young Robbie is about to learn this lesson, not from his parents, but from a very unlikely source: a genie. How? Robbie finds an interesting brass lamp in a second-hand shop and convinces his mother to buy it for him. It takes some convincing, but he really wants the lamp. Back home, while he is polishing the lamp, a genie appears. But this genie doesn’t agree to grant the usual three wishes one expects from a genie. He agrees to grant only one wish and there are some rules to consider. Quite a few rules, actually. Basically, Robbie’s wish can’t in any way, shape or form, change Robbie’s life or anyone else’s. Frustrated, Robbie finally concedes defeat by voicing an opinion which includes the words: I wish.
Brad Bott’s picture book story, Just One Wish, is a charming, clever, educational story that will also warm the hearts of young and old alike. Borrowing an oft-told fable of a magical lamp with a genie inside, the author weaves a story around a young boy who has many wishes, some that might even benefit others. Robbie has no idea whatsoever as to what might be the best wish of all, the wish that fits all the rules and guidelines presented by the genie. The story takes this magical theme to a higher level to help young readers appreciate that dreams and wishes are things to work towards, not to be granted at whim. It certainly demands that the reader ponder their own options: If you had one, and only one, wish, what would you wish for?