"Wish" Gives Us Hope
"Finding my way to parenthood through loss and heartbreak and ultimately through drop-to-your-knees redemption and uplifting emotion was the greatest journey...I've ever been on."
Talking to blogger John Schu (of Watch.Connect.Read fame), Matthew Cordell sums up the premise of his beautiful picture book, Wish. This is your story. This is your neighbor's story. Wish is meant to be read aloud as a family. Cordell captures the longing and pain of parents whose wish for a child is unfulfilled. Despite minimal text, this story strikes a deep chord, of longing and love. Using a mix of bamboo pen, India ink, and watercolors, Cordell lets the soft, muted scenes unfold. The colors are not pastel, but bold, perfectly mirroring the strong emotions felt in this story, without overwhelming the reader. From the spread where the parents languish in a boat on the sea, to the scenes where they bravely carry on with the business of living despite their pain, Cordell perfectly portrays the uncertain cycle of creating a family. The single-word title captures the magic inherent in creating life. One of the best things about this story is that the characters are elephants, towers of strength and wisdom. They don’t have a defined gender or race; they are simply two parents wishing. This journey will resonate with families who have chosen adoption, IVF, or surrogacy to become parents, or parents who simply struggled before becoming pregnant. The colored specks traveling from the characters channel the idea of casting a wish upon the wind, and hoping it takes hold. When the elephants’ wish is finally fulfilled, Cordell expertly demonstrates that sometimes your wishes come true in a suddenly and in an unexpected fashion. You will read this story again and again, with your family listening close by, and be uplifted as you remember your own journey of wishing and, ultimately, contentment.