Everyone has thought about what three wishes they would make if they ever found a genie in a bottle. But what if you couldn’t think of three? Or, worse, what if the genie had lost his powers and couldn’t grant them anyway? This is what happens to young Emma in Cornelia Funke’s new book for young people, Emma and the Blue Genie.
Being the only girl with four younger brothers, Emma likes to escape the noise by sitting on the beach near her home and listening to the waves. One night she finds a stoppered bottle and releases a sad, blue genie named Karim who needs her help more than she needs his. Karim promises to grant her wishes after he has taken back his stolen magic nose ring from an evil yellow genie. Emma decides that going with him on this adventure, along with her dog Tristan, sounds better than waiting at home.
Flying away on a magic carpet, Karim and Emma (and Tristan) go to a strange, distant land where they must use all their bravery and cleverness to best the yellow genie. Written in prose that is easily accessible to elementary students, this tale will delight boys and girls alike. Beautiful color illustrations by Kerstin Meyer make a wonderful accompaniment. This book was tested on a second-grade boy and given two thumbs up!
Jennifer Bruer Kitchel is the librarian for a Pre-K through eighth level Catholic school.