Lenny Makes a Wish

Lenny Makes a Wish
Paula Metcalf
Oxford University Press

I wonder how far into this heartwarming story it will be before youngsters guess the identity of the ‘fish’ Lenny rabbit comes upon while out picking flowers for his mum one spring day.

Needing a little rest from his activity, Lenny sits down beneath a tree and spots a ‘funny little fish / as black as black an be’

That the little creature is all alone makes the young rabbit feel sad and he inquires about the whereabouts of the fish’s parents. What he learns is that a storm has separated her from her family.

Having pondered upon what to do, Lenny offers himself as a friend but then realises that a fish out of water is unable to breathe. Back into the water goes Fishy rapidly followed by Lenny but what is immediately evident is 

Happily his mum arrives in the nick of time to rescue her little one and give him a warning. Then it’s a very sad Lenny that bids farewell to his fishy friend and so she doesn’t forget him, he presents her with his blue scarf.

Time passes; Fishy appreciates her gift but suddenly tears start  welling up.

Lenny meanwhile also misses Fishy and one bright, clear night he makes a wish upon the biggest star in the sky.

The sunny summer days come around and all of a sudden while Lenny and Mum are having their lunch,

they receive a surprise visitor wearing a blue scarf.

Has Lenny’s wish perhaps been granted?

The combination of Paula Metcalf’s rhythmic, rhyming text and gently humorous illustrations with their wealth of of wonderful details, makes for a great read aloud. It’s a lovely celebration of kindness, and friendship against the odds as well as offering an unobtrusive lesson in natural history.