Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Jubal's Wish"

Title: Jubal’s Wish
Author: Audrey Wood
Illustrator: Don Wood
Publisher: The Blue Sky Press, 2000
Genre: Picture book
Age Range: K-3

Summary: Jubal is a toad who wants to go on a picnic with his friend Gerdy Toad or Captain Dalber Lizard, but they are both unhappy and do not want to go. Jubal wants to help them, and a wizard gives him one wish. He wishes for them to be happy. He returns to check on his friends, and they are still unhappy. He starts to cry and the rain starts falling from the sky. There is a storm, and the Captain saves Jubal and Gerdy. They all decide to have an adventure on the boat, and Jubal’s wish comes true.

Response: Audrey and Don Wood do a great job of including life lessons into their exciting and adventurous picture books. Jubal is a representation of selflessness and how one person can help brighten the day of others. The names used in this book are so unique that children could never forget them after reading the book. It incorporates the use of animals, fantasy, adventure, and a great lesson about helping others. Jubal himself learns patience because after he makes his wish he must wait a while for it to come true. In fact, he has to help make his own wish come true by helping the others with their problems. The illustrations in this book are extremely bright and bold. They are double page spreads on each page. They coincide with the text of the book. The nature scenes are full of big flowers and each page provides you with a different background. I love the picture when Jubal begins to cry, and it starts to rain. The drops are almost as large as he is, and you can see the pain and sadness on his face as he questions whether wishes really do come true. This is the turning point in the book because after this Jubal works to save the day for his friends.

Teaching Ideas: Children can learn two great lessons from this book: patience and selflessness. Even if they never experience the opportunity to get a wish granted, they can still work and help others to have a better day. Have the kids brainstorm what they would wish for if they were given one wish. Talk about patience and how sometimes it is important to be proactive and work hard to achieve your goals.

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