Book Review - When Wishes Come True

Author/Illustrator: Per-Henrik Gurth
Publisher: Lobster Press (October 1, 2009)
Age Level: 3 to 6 years
Source: Copy for Review
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Description from GoodReads:

The touching story of Little Bear will show children that wishes really do come true. Little Bear closes his eyes and wishes and wishes and wishes to become an astronaut in outer space … a pirate on a ship … a king in a magical castle! But when he opens his eyes, his wishes haven't come true. He is still Little Bear living in the Arctic tundra. Mother Bear helps him see that many of his wishes do come true, from swimming with playful belugas to watching the dazzling northern lights. And much to his surprise and delight, Little Bear discovers that he was Mother Bear's own wish come true! Children and adults alike will be touched by this reassuring tale of love and hope by celebrated children's book author and illustrator, Per-Henrik Gürth. 

 Some books are simply "awwwww" books.  You read them and you say "awww".  Per-Henrick Gurth's When Wishes Come True has that effect on the reader.  As I read through the book, I found that I really enjoyed the easy back and forth between the mother polar bear and the baby bear.  Little Bear like any young child has wishes of becoming an astronaut, or a pirate, or a king.  And as I read the pages, I could almost hear the voice of a small child speaking those exact words.  The beautiful illustration lend both a sense of realism and magic to the book and compliment the text. 

Mother Bear's response to Little Bear is gentle and at first practical.  Her reminders of small wishes that he experiences on a regular basis help Little Bear to see that all is not lost.  However, it is in the ending when Mother Bear lets Little Bear know that he was her big wish come true, that the "awww" factor increased for me.  

When I thought further about the book, I realized that Gurth's story is a solid contender in this category of books that speak to the bond of mother and children geared for our youngest readers but does not pull ahead of other books.  Unfortunately, I can easily list about a dozen picture books that have been just as solid. This led me to give the book 4 stars instead of 5. With that said, it is a beautiful book and would be a welcome addition to any collection of books.