by Roseanne Thong
illustrated by Elisa Kleven
Chronicle Books, 2008
review copy provided by the publisher
A lot of wishing happens at this time of the year. It starts with the elections and the turkey bones, and it progresses to letters to Santa and New Year resolutions (a sub-genre of wishing, don't you think?).
Thinking about wishing got me wondering:
Sometimes wishes are addressed to a recipient (Santa), but when they're not, where do they go?What's the difference between wishing and asking?What's the difference between wishing and hoping?Are blessings just wishes you make on behalf of another person?Do you remember when you stopped wishing and started setting goals that you worked on to make happen?
WISH: WISHING TRADITIONS AROUND THE WORLD is the book that got me thinking about wishing. It's a beautiful book that introduces the reader to wishing traditions from 15 countries around the world, from Ireland and South Africa to Guatemala and Brazil. Each tradition is explained in a rhyme with a short paragraph of information and a gorgeous colorful illustration. In the back, there is a small amount of extra information about each tradition. It is more than a little amazing to learn that some wishes we take for granted (birthday candles on a round cake) have origins in ancient Greece, while others, such as wishing with coins, are universal.
This book demonstrates that humans have always and will always attach meaning to symbols. So go ahead and make your wishes during this season of wishing, and deliver them to the hands of Santa or your loved ones, your own heart or the universe at large. Your wishing connects you to all the other past, present, and future humans on this planet.
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