Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Hearne, Betsy
New York : M. K. McElderry Books, 2001.
IL 3.6, RL 5.8
ISBN 0689841221

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

"Star light, star bright, first star I've seen tonight.  I wish I may I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight." Have you ever wished that your brother would turn into a pig?  Well, 11-year-old Louise Tolliver did and she got her wish.  Willie turned into a great big sow with sky blue eyes.  Louise tries to undo her wish, but only makes matters worse.  The Sheriff is asking questions about Willie's disappearance, Louise's mother doesn't know what to do and Louise's father is missing too.  Life for Louise and her mother gets very complicated and they have to figure out how to undo everything on the first clear evening with a new moon.  But the weather report says it's going to rain.  How will Louise see the first star so that she can make her wish?  What does the owl that sits in the tree next to the house have to do with this story?  Read Wishes, Kisses and Pigs by Betsy Hearne to find out what happens and remember: be careful what you wish for. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Committee, 2003))

Booktalk #2

Wishes can be very powerful, especially when you wish on the first star you see at night.  Louise is so annoyed with her brother Willie that she calls him a pig just as she makes a wish on a star. The next moment her portly, blond-haired, blue-eyed brother disappears in the trees.  At dinner her mother misses her son; skipping dinner is something that Willie just never does. Coincidentally, a new pig runs out of the woods, a big white one with blue eyes just like Willie’s.  What should Louise do? How can she undo a wish once it is made?  (Jean Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2003)

Booktalk #3

“What if a wish you shouldn’t have wished actually came true?” That’s what happens in Wishes, Kisses, and Pigs by Betsey Hearne.
                    Eleven-year-old Louise Tolliver didn’t mean to do it! It was an accident!
                    “Star light, star bright, first star I’ve seen tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.”
                    Her brother Willie made her mad. That’s why she said it. That’s why she called him a pig—and then Willie just disappeared.
                    Louise and her Mama looked all over for him, but he was no where to be found.
                    It was bad enough that Louise’s daddy, Jack, has been missing for seven years and Mama and the children have had to manage on the farm by themselves.  Now Willie was missing, too.  He wasn’t the kind who would just run away.
                    Sheriff Tod Watkins didn’t take it very seriously.  After all boys will be boys, and the sheriff knew that Willie was sweet on his niece, Maybelle.
                    Then the new pig came to the Tolliver’s farm and he had sky blue eyes, just like Willie’s.  Louise and her Mama began to suspect the truth.
                    Louise didn’t mean to turn her brother into a pig!  Maybe she could wish him back again. But wishes sometimes go astray and in Tolliver’s Hollow, strange things sometimes happen.
                    Louise learns that you should be careful what you wish for because sometimes wishes do come true.  Can she find away to bring Willie back?  (Alice Brice,  Graduate Student, School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina,

SUBJECTS:     Wishes -- Fiction.
                        Magic -- Fiction.
                        Brothers and sisters -- Fiction.
                        Pigs -- Fiction.


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