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Wednesday 20 December 2023

Review: The Christmas Wish (The Wish Sisters series)

The Wish Sisters series has already established a following among those young newly independent readers who respond well to everyday family life with an added twist of fantasy and humour. 

These stories have a flavour that strongly reminds me of E. Nesbit’s Five Children and It, in which the tricky Psammead willingly agrees to giving wishes [with provisos] but somehow always manages to make them go completely askew for the children. 

Flick and her little sister, Birdie, are the main characters, and their Granny Aggie wished for them to have unlimited wishes when she found an old bottle with a captive Imp.

‘My name is Imp, no he or she, just a plain old imp I be’ This mischievous Imp twists wishes to make them go wrong, and the first thing Imp did was to do so to Granny Aggie’s wish so that only baby Birdie can wish. As one might imagine, a toddler making wishes makes for complete mayhem often! 

Flick has always been determined to be the best big sister ever, so is forever trying to manage Birdie’s wishes, and repair any fallout, but must also keep the Imp’s existence a secret, which is not at all easy, especially with their very nosy neighbour, Mrs Mortlake. Only her own family know the whole story, as well as her bestie, Oli, and he is always ready to help her keep the Imp a secret.

With Christmas just around the corner, there are plenty of preparations going on. The children kindly offer to decorate Mrs Mortlake’s tree, as they feel sorry for her not seeing her family in Scotland. But when Birdie gets impatient, suddenly the tree is smothered with tiny Imp ornaments!! An afternoon of making gingerbread houses turns into a neighbourhood event, but the naughty Imp is so fixated on the many sweeties to decorate them, that the children must include the little scamp for fear of discovery and disaster. 

Luckily, Oli has an elf costume for his dog that fits beautifully and they can pass Imp off, hidden under the table, as Rosie the pup instead. Fortunately, each near-miss is salvaged before any real damage, and Flick is able to feel that she is being successful in her ‘best big sister’ role – with considerable help from Oli.

 There are plenty of near disasters, quick-thinking saves and lots of giggles to be had and your readers from around 5 or 6 years old will find it lots of fun.

The Christmas Wish (The Wish Sisters series)
Author: Allison Rushby
Illustrator: Karen Blair
Publisher: UQP, $12.99
Publication Date: 31 October 2023
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780702266362
Type: Junior Fiction