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Annika's Secret Wish: Book & CD edition    by Beverly Lewis & Pamela Querin order for
Annika's Secret Wish
by Beverly Lewis
Order:  USA  Can
Bethany, 2004 (2000)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Annika looks forward to the Swedish tradition of rice pudding on Christmas Eve every year. The child who finds an almond in their pudding gets to make a wish. Annika's secret wish is for a black pony. But her brothers and cousins all want the almond too, so they can make wishes of their own. Annika calms her nervousness by helping to prepare her home for Christmas, visiting with friends, and helping her mother with the cooking. What will Annika do if she finds the almond? Will she make her wish, or will she give it away to someone who needs it more?

Beverly Lewis's Annika's Secret Wish is a delightful holiday tale. It features Swedish culture and traditions that will intrigue kids from other backgrounds. My own children were fascinated by Annika's family, and wanted to try some of their ideas in our own home. Annika is a true heroine, thinking about others even when her heart desires to be selfish. This edition comes with an audio CD, in which the narrator reads the story (with a few extra descriptions), talks about Swedish foods and traditions, and sings two Christmas carols.

Pamela Querin's colorful, detailed illustrations enhance the story, allowing readers to picture everything described. You can see Annika's dilemma in her face as she struggles to make the right choices, and can sense the children's anticipation of holiday festivities. This heartwarming book is a welcome addition to any holiday collection.

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