Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ava Tree and the Wishes Three Jeanne Betancourt

Ava Tree and the Wishes Three by Jeanne Betancourt, illus. by Angela Dominguez The book is broken up into three parts/three days. In part one Ava is getting ready for her backwards birthday party. She’ll be turning 8. Ava's parents died in a car crash when she was six, and she’s being raised by her 22 yr old brother, Jack. Ava is filled with birthday party happiness. She figures out that her wishes can come true. Ava gets her rabbit Tibbar to use the toilet and two more wishes come true. In Part two, Ava and Tibbar enter a pet show at the park. She is happy to discover she still has three wishes, even though it’s not her birthday. She uses one wish, so her best friend Priscilla can have a kitten. In Part three Ava realizes she is guaranteed three wishes a day. She also learns not to wish anything evil, because it will backfire.

“Tibbar jumped on the bed and lay next to me. He does that when I’m upset. Tibbar is a very sensitive rabbit. I touched my nose. It was still swollen. “I’m not going to wish any more mean things,” I told Tibbar. Tibbar licked my face and snuggled closer. I thought some more about my wishing power. Was I going to have it every day of my life? It was hot in my room. I got up and opened the window. A sweet, summer wind blew in. I sat in my rocker and watched the moon and stars mobile over my bed sway in the breeze.”

Betancourt has written a wonderful book. Though it wasn’t necessary, in part three the author is kind enough to tell how Ava may have came into her three wishes powers. Ava is a very likeable character, with a great best friend in Priscilla. Ava’s relationship with her pet rabbit, is very sweet. The chapters are short, about six pages each with big print and large illustrations. The illustrations add to the overall look of the book. When I look at the cover art the first word that comes to mind is warm. That’s the same feeling I get from Dominquez’s artwork throughout the book. It will be hard for a reader to begrudge Ava her three wishes. This was a great read and I hope its the first of many. Ages 6up.