Kid’s Book Review: Wishes

Kid’s Book Review: Wishes

About the Book and Author

Inspired by actual events in the author’s life, this is a narrative that is both timely and timeless. Told through the eyes of a young girl, the story describes a family’s difficult and powerful journey packing up what they can carry, leaving their familiar world behind, traveling to a new and unknown place in a crowded boat.

Wishes is thought-provoking tale of an anxious and sad journey that told gently and in an appropriate way for children. Its simplicity invites empathy and promotes important conversations about migration. As you can see from our photos below the illustrations by award-winning artist Victo Ngai have a  dreamlike quality.

This important book is published by Scholastic and ought really to be in every school’s library.


wishes cover
Muon Thi Van

Mượn Thị Văn stitches stories by starlight and by daylight. Some of these stories become books, and some of these books are read around the world. From her acclaimed debut, In a Village by the Sea, illustrated by April Chu, to her latest, Wishes, illustrated by Victo Ngai, her books have received many distinctions, including a Northern California Book Award, a New York Public Library Best Book, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book, and an Irma Black Honor Book. She lives in the United States.

Victo Ngai  is a Los Angeles based illustrator from Hong Kong, graduated from Rhode Island School of Design. [“Victo” is not a boy nor a typo, but a nickname derived from Victoria – a leftover from the British colonisation.] Victo has taught at the School of Visual Art New York, the Illustration Academy and gives guest lectures and workshop at universities and conferences, this has become her favourite excuse to visit different cities. Apart from drawing, Victo’s biggest passions are traveling and eating. She’s hoping that one day she will save up enough to travel around the world and sample all kinds of cuisines.

Book Review

I was really sad that the family had to leave their dog behind

I read this book with my family. It was very like a story that I read with my class last term when we were talking about refugees. This book makes me feel very sad that people have to leave their homes to get to safety. I was really sad that the family had to leave their dog behind.

There aren’t many words in this story but the pictures help to tell the story. The pictures were very colourful when it was hot and dark when it was night time or scary.

I think it is very important to read books like this so that we understand that not everyone is as lucky as us to be safe.

I am going to share this book with my class after the holidays.

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If you would would like to buy a copy of the book we invite you to order it from your local independent book shop.

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Alternatively, we suggest that you visit your local library and request to borrow a copy from a friendly librarian.

Whichever you choose we hope you enjoy being part of your unique reading community – happy reading everyone!

Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Matthew
  • Age: 8 Years
  • Likes: Minecraft, lego and drawing
  • Dislikes: baked beans and screaming
  • Favourite Book: Bad Dad By David Walliams
  • Favourite Song: Savage Love by Jason Derulo and Jawsh 685
  • Favourite Film: Star Wars