This gentle picture book tells the story of a girl who has moved to a new home. When she looked out her window one night, she made wish. But the wish thing did not come. Rose could not be comforted when the wish thing did not respond. Nothing worked to calm her. Her entire family searched for the wish until they came to the sea. That is when they saw the box floating on the water. In that box, was the wish thing: a thing of tiny stitches and a red glass heart. And that is what let Rose head outside of her new house and make friends.
This Australian import has a gorgeous softness to it in both images and text. The story is warm and nurturing with a large family trying to comfort Rose, a rambling house with a garden, and a big furry dog. It is also a lovely strange tale that is not straight forward, but meanders a bit, travels a lot, and finds something special along the way. Magerl’s language is noteworthy too:
The evening tide came with gentle fingers to roll over the crabs and rock the stones.
The illustrations are soft and detailed. The fine ink lines are colored with watercolors which makes them both detailed and gorgeously nuanced in color. Pages of Rose and her family are alternated with illustrations of the wish thing’s journey to Rose. There is plenty of drama along the way.
A warm and gentle look at loneliness and how it can be transformed. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from e-galley received from Penguin Random House and Edelweiss.