Monday, April 7, 2008

I will make miracles by Susie Morgenstern, illustrated by Jiang Hong Chen - review

Every time I sit down with a stack of picture books to review, at least one has to make me cry. Well, get a little misty, anyway - I'm not weird.

I will make miracles is a massive book. Tall and wide, with illustrations done in Chinese ink with brushes that must have been a yard long. You'd have to, just to match the power of this book's idea. A boy, continually asked what he wants to be when he grows up, decides that he will wake the sun every day. And then control the ocean. Heal all the sick. Help the police. Make the world stop fighting.

Susie Morgenstern takes the boy's ambitions far beyond the obvious:

I will stretch out our days and our nights to feel longer
So everyone has enough time to grow stronger.

The boy himself reminds me a lot of Maurice Sendak's Max, with a mischievous or fierce look on his face even as he's solving the world's problems. The ever-so-slightly weak ending ("To change the world from dark to bright, First I should learn to read and write") only brings this giant of a book a little bit back down to earth as it ends and we have to close it.

For anyone, old or young, who wants or needs to be reminded of their own unlimited potential.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just purchased this book to use in conjunction with my Children's Literature class, and in the future, my classroom. While I do think the ending is slightly weak, I think that its message is important-- that through education, anything is possible. (And that's certainly a message I hope to instill in all of my students.)

Glad to find your blog! It should introduce me to some authors or books I've previously overlooked. :)