Tuesday, April 10, 2007
The Misadventures of Benjamin Bartholomew Piff : You Wish
This is a title that I heard about at the Random House preview a few weeks ago. It has an adorable cover, intriguing title, and well named protagonist. Yay!
Ever since his parents died in a tragic plane accident, Benjamin Bartholomew Piff has been living in an orphanage run by the evil Mr. Roach and the despicable Mrs. Pinch. Ben often finds himself inside the large kitchen pots, scrubbing with a toothbrush as punishment. He has plans to run away, but is thwarted in his efforts when a well meaning social worker brings him a birthday cake. The cake is quickly pilfered by Mrs. Pinch and it's not until Ben can steal away into the kitchen late at night that he can make a birthday wish and have some cake. Birthday wishes never come true, but Ben figures he will give one a shot anyhow.
As Ben makes his wish, things over at the Wishworks Factory erupt into chaos. Ben has made the perfect wish. He has followed all the rules. He has told noone his wish. The wish for unlimited wishes.
But if his wish comes true, what happens to the wishes of others?
What follows is a rip roaring romp of a tale. Parallel universes, morality and mortality, wishes vs curses, and friendships despite differences all hold a place in the story.
The start reminded me of Dahl, and Mr. Candlewick painted a Wonka-esque portrait. Once the story gets moving, however, author Jason Lethcoe takes the reader to a world where children can change anything. This is a fast-paced adventure that fans of Eager, Dahl, and even Ibbotson should love!