World Wish Day occurs on the 29th April each year and originated because of a seven year old child who was sick with leukaemia wishing for something to happen in 1980. His wish was granted and when people heard about it the Make-A-Wish Foundation was founded. It has become a well-known world-wide children's charity but I am writing about this day because of a request I had from a preschool teacher at the end of last term for books about 'wishing'. She had been talking to her class about wishes and realised that the children didn't really know what a wish was when she asked them what they would wish for during an activity.
There are so many books I could have given her. Narrowing it down to a small number was hard. Most of the picture books with 'wish' in the title have a Christmas setting so I avoided them except for Jane Godwin and Anna Walker's beauty, What Do You Wish For? , and gave her that and these:
• Wish by Roseanne Thong and Elisa Kleven
• I Wish... by Nick Ward
• I Wish For More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
• The Wish Giver by Roseanne Hawke and Lenore Penner
• The Wish Factory by Chris Riddell
• The Fish Who Could Wish by Korky Paul
• The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear and Chris Turnham
• The Wishing Boat by Amanda Tarlau and Chris Saunders
We all make wishes and these wishes differ greatly in magnitude but it was interesting to see that a concept we as adults take for granted was something the three and four year olds at an affluent school needed to be introduced to through planned intervention. The classroom now has a wish tree and they talk about wishes and wishing in their regular discourse. If you have none of the books above buy The Wish Tree or watch it here. Danielle Davis from the blog This Picture Book Life outlines an accompany activity she has planned for the book here and there are other ideas on the web.