Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction General


by (author) Jean Little

illustrated by Genevieve Cote

Scholastic Canada Ltd
Initial publish date
Sep 2012
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 8
  • Grade: 1



Make a wish and the sky's the limit in this delightful rhyming story from the incomparable Jean Little.

If wishes were ice cream, our cones would be doubles.If wishes were soapsuds, we'd blow shining bubbles.

In this charming new picture book, children and their wild imaginations take centre stage! In a true celebration of wishers and dreamers, Jean Little entertains readers with bouncy rhymes depicting kids' favourite wishes — from puppies to pancakes; and sundaes to snowflakes.

Governor General's award-winning Canadian illustrator Geneviève Côté infuses each page with her inventive illustrations, literally turning each spread into a carnival of fun!

If wishes were stories, there would only be one — this one!


About the authors

Jean Little was born in Taiwan in 1932. Her parents were both doctors. Jean grew up in Ontario and graduated from the University of Toronto. She was born with a severe eye problem and is severely visually impaired. A special "talking" computer assists her with her writing. She has a retired seeing-eye dog named Ritz and a new one named Pippa, with whom she travels. The author focuses on her experiences from the time she was a child through young adulthood in her autobiography, Little by Little, and continues her story in Stars Come Out Within. The books, which will appeal to children 10 and older, are both humorous and poignant as Jean describes living with a disability and the ridicule she sometimes experienced as a result, as well as her love for the world of reading and books. Jean's books include From Anna, Listen for the Singing, Stand In The Wind, Mama's Going To Buy You a Mockingbird, Hey World, Here I Am!, Look through My Window, Emma's Yucky Brother, The Belonging Place, and Mine For Keeps. Listen for the Singing was the Canada Council Children's Literature Award winner in 1977. Mama's Going to Buy You a Mockingbird was the CLA Book of the Year in 1985.
Jean Little's first book, Mine for Keeps, won the Little, Brown Children's Book Award in 1962 and was republished by Viking Penguin in 1995. It tells the story of Sally Copeland, a 10 year old with cerebral palsy, and her adjustment to being home after spending several years in a special school. You'll find that several of the themes in this book appear in a number of the author's other books: dealing with a handicap and the responses of others, fitting in, and adjusting to new situations and surroundings.


Jean Little's profile page



Enfant, Geneviève Côté adorait dessiner. Elle s'inventait des histoires simplement pour le plaisir de les illustrer. Au fil des ans, elle a continué à nourrir sa passion pour le dessin et les arts, si bien qu'elle a décidé d'en faire une carrière. Après avoir étudié les arts et la communication au Cégep, elle a terminé, en 1987, un baccalauréat en infographie à l'Université Concordia, à Montréal. Geneviève a illustré plus de 25 livres pour enfants. Comme auteure-illustratrice, elle a publié chez Scholastic Quel éléphant? et Je suis là, Petit Lundi. Elle a reçu le Prix du Gouverneur général pour ses illustrations en 2007. Geneviève vit à Montréal et travaille dans un atelier du centre-ville.


Geneviève Côté
studied art and graphic design at Concordia University in Montreal. She has
illustrated numerous books for children. She also enjoys writing her own
stories: Quel éléphant? (What Elephant?) and Je suis là, petit Lundi (With You Always, Little Monday)
were the first books that she both wrote and illustrated. Côté's editorial
art has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe and other
publications. Her books have received three nominations for the Governor
General's Award for Illustration, one of which she went on to win. She has
also won the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award.


Genevieve Cote's profile page


  • Commended, Today's Parent 100 best Canadian kids' books of all time
  • Short-listed, Rainforest of Reading Award
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award
  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Commended, OLA Best Bets

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Wishes:

"[Wishes] celebrates fun and freedom . . . Cote's watercolour images are energetic and gleeful, and give Little's text room to resonate." —Quill & Quire

"The melody of this text will encourage readers to read this book over and over again for the sheer pleasure of feeling the words tumble over their tongues while the illustrations will charm them with the possibilities available in the fantasy world of wishes. Wishes is a truly delightful piece to share with children." —CM Magazine

"Whimsical desires, heartfelt hopes and crazy dreams — cashed in as wishes — are celebrated in Guelph author Jean Little's new book . . . This book makes a lovely gift for children" —The Guelph Mercury

"An entertaining romp celebrating the dreams and desires of young people . . . readers will be attracted to the energy and detail on every page." —Canadian Children's Book News

"This book is sure to delight children . . . The colourful illustrations intuitively speak to a child's world and a child's imagination and provide entertainment as well as a thoought provoking forum for personal connection." —Resource Links

"The rhyming format make the book a pleasure both to read and to listen to, and suits the dream-like quality of the words. The illustrations are equally fantastical. Featuring whimsical images of children and things, the colours used are soft, but the pictures are full of surprising details." —

Librarian Reviews


“If wishes were horses, then poor folks would ride. If wishes were friendships, I’d be by your side.” Thus begins Wishes, an entertaining romp celebrating the dreams and desires of young people. Told as a rhyming story, one enters the realm of children to explore their favourite whims. From puppies to pancakes, time travel to trampolines, and sundaes to circuses, readers are taken on an exhilarating journey.

Wishes was inspired by Jean Little’s grandmother, who told her, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride” whenever the young Jean asked for a puppy. Utilizing an altered version of this saying as her opening, Little has created a text which is fun to read aloud: “If wishes were ice cream, our cones would be doubles. If wishes were soapsuds, we’d blow shining bubbles.”

Geneviève Coté’s exuberant mixed media artwork portrays children from a variety of racial backgrounds having the time of their lives. Readers will be attracted to the energy and detail on every page.

In reality, most children understand that not every wish can be granted. However, in between its covers, Wishes invites readers to temporarily enter a world where dreams do, in fact, come true.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2012. Volume 35 No. 4.

Other titles by Jean Little

Other titles by Genevieve Cote

Related lists