Cover image for Irene's wish
Irene's wish
Nolen, Jerdine, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, [2014]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
"A little girl ... wishes for her father to be home more, but she never expects her wish to come true the way it does"--
General Note:
"A Paula Wiseman book."
Reading Level:
AD 700 Lexile.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Audubon Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
East Delavan Branch Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Frank E. Merriweather Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Orchard Park Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Anna M. Reinstein Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



A young girl wants her father to be home more, but her wish takes an unexpected turn in this story of enduring love between parent and child from an award-winning author and illustrator.

Irene loves her family, especially when her father is home. But Papa is gone a lot, and so Irene makes a wish for him to be with the family more. Her wish comes true in an unexpected way when Papa, who was drinking lemonade in the garden at the exact moment Irene made her wish, swallows a watermelon seed and begins a surprising transformation. Slowly and beautifully, day after day, Irene's father turns into a tall, stately, and loving tree. Papa is a beautiful tree, but Irene wants her real Papa back. How could Irene have made such a wish, and how can she make things right?

Jerdine Nolen has written a modern fable about the power of wishes.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Irene's papa has a green thumb, and people regularly come to him for help with their plants. He is an optimistic man who loves gardening and believes that seeds are very full of possibilities. Irene wishes long and hard that her father wasn't so busy and could spend more time at home playing with her and her brothers. One bright summer day, her father swallows a variety of seeds mistakenly mixed into a glass of iced tea, and he begins to grow into an unusual-looking tree. Though Irene finally has the stay-at-home father she had fervently wished for he is firmly rooted in the garden now it's just not the same. She realizes it's up to her to wish him back to being Papa again. Luminous, saturated acrylics and oil illustrations create a warm, cozy story of a close-knit African American family who just need a priority reset. Lush green trees, brilliant blue skies with fluffy white clouds, and almost tangible textures throughout, especially when Papa is blooming, will captivate readers. A fanciful, cautionary tale that reminds children to be careful what they wish for.--Owen, Maryann Copyright 2014 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-Irene's papa has a magic touch, and he can make just about anything grow ("Papa always says, 'If a star can grow inside an apple, anything is possible!'"; "'Seeds,' he says, 'are very full of possibilities.'"). His work keeps him quite busy, and the children wish he could spend more time at home playing with them. The man finds out just how far those possibilities can go when Irene accidentally serves him iced tea filled with the kids' secret stash of seeds. He undergoes a radical transformation, and although he is still loved and considered part of the family, his wife and children long for him to return to normal. As she did in Plantzilla (Harcourt, 2002), Nolen proves again her ability to weave nature and life cycles into fanciful stories that children and adults will enjoy. Although Irene's Wish is a bit text-heavy for some newly independent readers, the themes of family, devotion, and the power of wishing will resonate with many. Ford's illustrations, rendered in acrylics and oil, bring life to the action with deep texture and vivid detail. This book will be a perfect family read, tucking many children in for dreams of grand possibility.- Megan Egbert, Meridian Library District, ID (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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