Cover image for When wishes were horses
When wishes were horses
Addy, Sharon.
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Publication Information:
Boston, Mass. : Houghton Mifflin, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
On a hot, dusty day as Zeb is walking to the general store, he wishes for a horse, but soon his one horse grows into a snorting, stamping herd.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.1 0.5 67130.
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PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



In the town of Dusty Gulch, not much is fixing to happen. But then Zeb wishes up a horse.
When he tells his ma, she thinks he's fibbing. He starts to say, "I wish you'd believe me," and a wild-eyed palomino appears in her boarding-house kitchen. It neighs and snorts, and tears the door off its hinges on its way out.
In the wake of Zeb's wishes, horses take over the small town. A chestnut mare completely discombobulates Mrs. Vander Snooty as she steps off the stagecoach, and a pinto creates havoc in Mr. Goody's General Store. But Zeb can't stop wishing. Will Zeb save the town from all these horse-wishes? Boldly and hilariously illustrated, When Wishes Were Horses will tickle the funny bone of every cowboy and cowgirl.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

PreS^-Gr. 3. While lugging a heavy sack of flour home from the town of Dusty Gulch, Zeb wishes for a horse, and suddenly a buckskin cow pony appears. Following several other seemingly innocent wishes, a palomino, a chestnut mare, a wild-eyed stallion, a nervous pinto, and a bay appear, causing more than a few hard feelings and great confusion among the local merchants. Finally, Zeb tries wishing that his wishes be only wishes--and his life returns to normal. The watercolor artwork is rich in earth-tone hues, and Sneed does a good job of conveying the enormous energy of the horses, especially as they negotiate the close quarters of a homey kitchen and a crowded general store. Also effective are his characters' exaggerated facial expressions, which help to convey the story's humor. This is a good choice for reading aloud and for using as a springboard for discussions of folk sayings such as, "If wishes were horses, beggars might ride." --Kay Weisman

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-This hyperbolic wishing story should appeal to young horse fanciers. Young Jeb sees a stranger on horseback and wishes he had a horse. The stranger winks and a horse appears. It is soon evident that each time Jeb utters the words "I wish," another horse, each one a different color, will appear. Jeb goes from being delighted to horrified as the number of animals mounts up. Desperate, he tries to wear out the spell by uttering wish after wish until he is surrounded by a milling herd. Finally, he wishes that his wishes would just be wishes, and the creatures disappear. This amusing twist on the traditional granted-wish-that-gets-out-of-control motif is greatly enhanced by Sneed's watercolor illustrations of lean and lanky people, an Old West town, and a spirited collection of multicolored mustangs. While Jay Williams's One Big Wish (Macmillan, 1980; o.p.) is an even more satisfying wish-gone-wrong story, young listeners should enjoy this flight of fancy.-Louise L. Sherman, formerly at Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.