Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Review of Sorts: To Find A Wishing Well

A few years back, I spent the best $0.25 ever at the library's discarded book sale, and bought Hylda Lee's To Find A Wishing Well.

I'm really glad I did. I've never seen another copy of it, and everyone that I or Bean have ever mentioned it to gives us a funny look. It's obscure, which is too bad, because I think it's one of the best children's novels ever.

It's about Lila, the 11th child of a King and Queen who have nothing but sons, and how a well intentioned fairy gives her the gift of always wanting something...which of course, backfires. When she's sixteen, she sets out on a quest to solve this by finding a Wishing Well on her brown and yellow striped horse Zeb. Along the way, she meets Ethelbert the Owl, Mitch the Otter, an enchanter, Caesar the dog and Prince Sorin, a host of other talking animals, gets a magic bag that is always filled with milk and cheese and apples and honeycomb, and gets her happily ever after.

I know there are some who would criticize the fact that everyone gets their wishes granted (Zeb wants a horn like a unicorn, Mitch wants to be able to fly etc), and that everything's happy and there's next to no hardship, but the book is still full of good morals: Like, 'help your friends when they're in trouble', and, 'get the whole story from the dragon because maybe he didn't actually mean to torch your kingdom'. Lila gets most of her wishes answered, but finds out that having everything you want, when you want it, isn't as much fun as wanting it. It's fluff, but it's the right sort of fluff, and I wish it was more well known.

As it is, I can't even find an example of the cover to add to this. I'm actually going to have to scan it. Google came up with nothing, if you can imagine it. The book is really that obscure. But if ever you do come across it, you should read it. It's adorable.


E said...

Gotta love those library discarded-book sales. They're wonderful treasure troves if you know how to look past the centuries-old romance novels and self-help books...

This sounds like a wonderful book. Kind of reminds me of the later Oz books - not much conflict, but lots of morals and good stuff and awesome fluff.

Also, the owl's name is the shizznickets.

Athena said...

I looooves that book! I wish I could find another copy of it, or at least someone else who acknowledges its existence.

I wanna hit a library soon, and see if I can find anything else this good.

Rhiannon said...

I love digging through piles of used books...there's just so much potential there.

Unless it's a pile of used Diane Steel, in which case the only potential there is how much heat you can get out of the lovely fire all that paper would make. >:D