Cover image for The wishing of Biddy Malone
The wishing of Biddy Malone
Cowley, Joy.
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Publication Information:
New York : Philomel Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
In Ireland, a young girl who cannot sing, dance, or control her temper stumbles across a faerie village, where a beautiful boy asks her to name her three wishes--but does not promise to grant them for her.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.1 0.5 76204.
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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To be sure, Biddy Malone is a singer and a dancer—though her dundering feet fall all over each other and her voice sounds like a rusty gate. Even her brothers’ teasing can’t stop her dancing.And then one day, Biddy stumbles upon a faerie village, and meets a loveling so beautiful he takes her breath away. And when he asks to hear her three deepest wishes, she tells him every one. But all too soon, she learns that something gained for nothing has no value, and that wishes can only come true if you make them so yourself.Beloved author Joy Cowley and brilliant illustrator Christopher Denise bring a spirited new heroine to life in this magical tale of light and love.

Author Notes

Cassia Joy Cowley is a New Zealand language and reading specialist. She was born on August 7, 1936, in Levin, New Zealand.

She has written more than 500 books for beginning readers, many of which have been honored internationally. The Cheese Trap won the AIM Children's Book Award for Best Picture Book (1996) and Red-Eyed Tree Frog won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Best Picture Book (1999). She has won New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards for Best Junior Fiction for Ticket to the Sky Dance (1998) and Starbright and the Dream Eater (1999). The Mouse Bride (1998) is being produced as an animated program for New Zealand television.

In 2002, Cowley was awarded the Roberta Long Medal, presented by the University of Alabama at Birmingham for culturally diverse children's literature. In 2004, she was awarded the A. W. Reed Award for Contribution to New Zealand Literature, and in 2010, she won the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in the Fiction category. She is also a 2016 Astrid Lindgren award nominee. In 2018 she will be awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit and also shortlisted for The Hans Christian Andersen Award. She was also awarded the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for her her title Nicketty-Nacketty, Noo-Noo-Noo in 2018. She was awarded the 2018 Order of New Zealand, which recognises outstanding service to the state and people of the country.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 1-3. This original tale set in Ireland introduces Biddy Malone, a girl better known for her fierce temper than her creaky singing or clumsy dancing, who happens upon a faerie village at dusk. When a most beautiful boy tells her to name three wishes, Biddy asks to sing sweetly, dance lightly, and have a loving heart. Back in her village, she finds that none of the gifts has been magically bestowed, but with time and effort, she gains all three and her heart's desire as well. The beautifully cadenced story reads aloud with a musical lilt, and the artwork is infused with rhythm and grace. The acrylic paintings, defined and shaded with charcoal and rich with deep colors, sensitively contrast Biddy's two worlds. Attentive listeners will hear the gentle moral as well as the plot: Biddy values her achievements more because she has worked to attain them. --Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

"A girl in Old Ireland discovers that faerie magic isn't quite what it appears in this complex tale," said PW. "The acrylics feature gauzy lines, antique patinas and cozy details-all of which convey a sense of rustic realism." Ages 4-up. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-Biddy Malone loves to sing and dance, though she has no apparent talent for either endeavor and a temper that is described as "a fine fierce thing." When the girl storms out of the house one evening and happens on a faerie village, a beautiful male asks her for her three deepest wishes. They are "to sing as sweetly as a thrush and dance as lightly as a deer- and for a loving heart." Back home again, Biddy finds that her wishes were not granted and that she must work to accomplish these things herself. Some years later, she attracts the attention of most of the eligible young bachelors in the vicinity, but still longs for the "loveling," whose village reappears at the opportune moment so they can pledge their love for one another. Done in acrylic paint and charcoal, the artwork does a good job of contrasting scenes of day-to-day life with the more brightly colored views of the faerie world. Cowley strives for a folkloric quality in this original tale, using sentence structure ("a loveling he was, with a band of meadow flowers about his head") and vocabulary ("mavourneen," "wisha") suggestive of Irish stories. There's not much magic in evidence, as Biddy achieves her goals only by dint of hard effort, and readers may wonder what her future holds as the domestic partner of a faerie. The unadorned stolidity of a moral tale lurks beneath the glimmering veneer of enchantment.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.