Review Blog

Apr 20 2017

The magic word by Mac Barnett

cover image

Ill. by Elise Parsley. Balzer and Bray, 2016. ISBN 9780062354846
Paxton C. Heymeyer seems to have forgotten his manners, so when he asks his babysitter for a cookie she asks him for the magic word. But instead of saying, "Can I have a cookie, please", Paxton C. Heymeyer shouts "Can I have a cookie, alakazoomba?" Suddenly, in a puff of blue smoke he not only discovers a cookie in his hand but the power to summon up anything he wants with that one magic word. A walrus to chase the babysitter to the North Pole; a waterslide in the living room; a jungle bedroom; anything his imagination lets him dream. Even an elephant and a robot-servant!
But when Rosie comes to play he finds that things aren't quite what he wishes for because elephants can't play cards or any of the other things friends do together...
There would be few of our littlies who have not been asked for "the magic word" so they will relate well to this engaging story of being able to have whatever you want - it brings life to the saying "Be careful what you wish for." Asking them what they would wish for or dream of having will elicit a lot of discussion and drawing, but there is also much to think about when Rosie refuses to play and goes home. Friendship and happiness are not all about material things and instant gratification, and this book may provide food for thought for those who want to have the latest thing NOW, and those who wish they could.
Barbara Braxton

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