Author/Illustrator: Greg Foley
Interest Level: Ages 6-8
From the Book Jacket: This is the story of Willoughby, whose new house feels too small and very lonely. It's also the story of an enchanted lion and spectacular wishes come true: of roller coasters, and fast, fast shoes, and enormous crowds of people. But most of all, it's the story of one important question: What is the most wonderful thing of all?
Why It's On My Bookshelf: A teacher at my school shared this really special story with me. Willoughby is a lonely boy who meets a lion who is able to grant him wishes....so he starts wishing for material things which are all granted. I know....you are already loving this book since we are surrounded by material mania. And how many times have you gone out shopping to fill a void? Guilty. Sharing this message with kids is a must...the internal vs external needs. In the end the boy is faced with a decision where he must choose between the two. If we choose the external stuff then we miss out on the really important things in life. I really enjoyed explaining this and giving real life examples to kids. What's really more important? A toy? Or how we make each other feel and what we can do to help one another? You'll love this book. I'd love to see more with this message.
PS. Make sure to ask the kids to guess what they think the gold coin says in the end of the story.
A Link to This Book and Others You Might Find Helpful: