The Teeny Weeny Genie

The Teeny Weeny Genie
Julia Donaldson and Anna Currey
Macmillan Children’s Books

There are faint echoes of the traditional Aladdin and The Fisherman and his Wife in this wonderfully funny tale of wishing that gets totally out of hand.

It all begins down on the farm when Old Macdonald decides to do a spot of cupboard cleaning. Having given his dusty old teapot a good wash, he’s rubbing it dry when out through the spout wafts the resident teeny weeny blue genie. The genie offers the farmer a wish.

It’s not too long before not only does Old Macdonald have that bright red tractor he so wanted, but a wife, a wardrobe, a cradle with a bawling baby,

a host of noisy animals; he’s called the fire-brigade to rescue a cat,

the crew have joined in with the wishing, and then there are superheroes whizzing every which way. The poor long-suffering genie can stand no more.

Powerless to make a wish for himself, he sneaks back into the farmhouse and back to his teapot home. So delighted is he at the sight of it that he gives the teapot a stroke, after which something wonderful and surprising happens …

Now should any of you lovely readers come upon a red teapot with white spots somewhere totally unlikely and feel the need to make a wish, then please be very careful what you wish for.

As always, Julia Donaldson’s zany story is a delight to read aloud, offering as it does, plenty of noisy joining-in opportunities for enthusiastic listeners who equally, will delight in Anna Currey’s watercolour scenes of the mounting mayhem that all began with a single wish and The Teeny Weeny Genie. Like the characters in the story, youngsters will certainly wish for more.

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