Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Chris Saunders
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Quarto, 2019   ISBN: 978-1786033468

Every year there is a day when wishes rise from the earth. They fill the air with sparkle and hope, dancing here and there, and if you are lucky a wish chooses you. On one of these wish days Rabbit was chosen by not one wish, but by three. Rabbit had never had a wish before, and he did not quite know what to with the three that he now had. So he decided that he would go and ask his friends for their advice. Off Rabbit went, running across the flower speckled meadow and then punting, atop a log, on a river.

The first friend Rabbit talked to was Mouse. His diminutive companion said that if he had a wish he would wish that he could fly so that he could see the world that “is so big.” Thinking about this wish, Rabbit set off again. His friend Fox said that he would wish that he could write stories that people would love, and books full of  “knowledge and hope,” books that had the “power to inspire.” What a wonderful wish this was, but was it the right wish for Rabbit? Bear told Rabbit that he would wish for a boat so that he could explore. Bear had walked great distances and climbed great heights, but he had not been able to set off across the sea as yet, and this was something that he was eager to do.

Rabbit still does not know what he wanted to wish for, but he did know that he wanted the world to be a better place, and so he made three glorious wishes that gave his friends what they yearned for.

Rabbit’s wishes were beautiful and generous, but he had not wished for anything for himself, and he felt rather forlorn. What Rabbit did not know was that kindness begets kindness, and wishes have a habit of growing.

This sweet picture book beautifully shows how rewarding it is to think beyond oneself. Generosity and selflessness are gifts in their own right, but these qualities also have a tendency to reflect back on the giver.

Throughout this book the delightful and emotive rhyming text is paired with soft illustrations that are truly charming. It is hard not to fall in love with sweet, expressive Rabbit as he hops along on his journey.