For: young kids
Read: 2-25-09 B&N
Endpapers: Front: One shiny black, the other shiny white
Back: Golden cardboard coin embedded into a black palm on the inside back cover, facing a gold page
This is a very gold book. It's on shiny white pages drawn entiely in black and metallic gold. Simple black lines.
Willouighby moves away to a small house near no friends. But in his empty back yard, sitting on a big rock, is an enchanted gold lion. He tells Willoughby that he'll grant him ten (10!) wishes, but unless he wishes for the most wonderful thing of all, the poor lion willl be stuck on the rock forever. Willoughby enjoys his daily requests for concrete things - a palace, a roller coaster, fast shoes, sweets, even a pair of x-ray glasses and an ancient set of books that would answer all his homework questions. But before his tenth wish, he tries to cheer up the lion. They tell stories and talk and laugh. It makes Willoughby think - a his tenth wish, whispered into the lion's ear, will, of course, be the one that freed the lion. A TRUE FRIEND. That's the wish. Then we turn to the back cover and the golden coin, mentioned above.
The book is a great idea, but I don't think Mr. Foley nailed it. He needed to spend an extra page - at least - creating more of a friendship between Willoughby and the lion...or something. Something was missing. A good attempt, though.