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The Trouble with Wishes Hardcover – January 9, 2007

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (January 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060554517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060554514
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,035,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–4—This light reinvention of the myth of Pygmalion gives the ancient Greek sculptor access to French perfumes, a modern-day spa, and an apprentice named Jane. Pyg is obsessed with his masterpiece, a sculpture of a goddess so beautiful that he wishes she were real. Jane finds her hard, flawless beauty a little off-putting, somehow, but he sees only perfection. Then he gets his wish and his work of art comes to life, but she turns out to be vain, humorless, demanding, and disloyal. As the end of his unhappy day with the "perfect" girl comes to a close, Pyg goes home to find Jane waiting for him with a blazing fire and a game of Scrabble. The pleasing, painterly cartoon illustrations combine ancient and modern elements. This fairy-tale/nursery-rhyme spoof, one of several by Stanley, has its own personality, tone, and palette, all of which work together toward a happy ending for everybody.—Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Stanley has written and illustrated several previous fractured fairy tales, including Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter (1997). Now, in a mischievous turnaround on the Pygmalion myth and The Sorcerer's Apprentice, she blends the classical and the contemporary with sly exaggeration. Jane, who wants to be a great sculptor and carve creatures from hunks of stone like her best friend, Pyg, becomes Pyg's apprentice. One day Pyg carves a masterpiece, a beautiful goddess, absolutely perfect. To Jane, however, the goddess statue seems heartless. When the goddess comes to life, she does, indeed, prove to be self-centered and mean, and she eventually leaves Pyg and his "dump" for the prince's palace. Then, to help Pyg get over "the girl of his dreams," Jane carves him the perfect pet companion. Stanley's fresh artwork, which mixes the grandeur of old classical forms and the absurdity of the new, is in perfect balance with the parody. Children older than the target audience may also enjoy this. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This retelling of the Pygmalion story comes complete with Pygmalion the master carver, his adored statue come to life, and Jane, Pygmalion's apprentice and a second hero of the story. Certainly demonstrates what happens when you fall in love for beauty alone, and also demonstrates the difficulty of controlling the object of your love, whoever she or he is.

Fine illustrations in classic Greek style -- Diane Stanley consistently writes and illustrates excellent books for children. Oil lamps, olive trees, grape vines, Greek key designs, pedastals and columns -- look for them in these high quality illustrations.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tiffanie A. Allen on November 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter originally checked this out at the school library, and after reading it insisted she wanted me to buy it. I have purchased this as one of her Christmas items, so I am sure she will be pleased, as this is one of her favorite books, and she is 9 years old.
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More About the Author

Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of more than fifty books for children, noted especially for her series of picture book biographies. SHAKA: KING OF THE ZULUS was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; LEONARDO DA VINCI received the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction from the National Council for Teachers of English. Ten of her books have been honored as "Notable Books" by the American Library Association and she has twice received both the Boston Globe/Hornbook Award and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' Golden Kite Award. She is the recipient of the Washington Post/Children's Book Guild Award for Nonfiction for the body of her work.

She lives in Santa Fe, NM. Visit her website at

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