Timothy, Sarah and Edward are a tight-knit and loving little family, regardless of them not being actually related. Having run away from their children’s home and found themselves living under a cobblestone bridge, they’ve learned quickly how to become independent. But is independence all it’s cracked up to be? Is it okay to turn to adults for help? And will the three of them find it within themselves to let go of their difficult pasts and open themselves up to the possibility of a new life?
Wish Upon a Leaf’s three protagonists, having been through some difficult life changes at very early ages, are wise beyond their years. They’re smart, resilient and fiercely protective of one another which makes them very likeable. Despite their impressive inner strength, they each show vulnerability that had me feeling as protective of them as all of the adults in their lives.
I really enjoyed the cosy small-town setting of Wish Upon a Leaf and Grabs’ descriptions of its key destinations, such as the library, St. Christopher’s Home for Children, and the impressive Victorian house which is home to the seemingly sinister Miss Williams. Descriptions of the park – crammed full of kids and families during sunny summer months – had me thinking back to the days I spent in the park near my high school, which left me feeling all nostalgic.
Although Wish Upon a Leaf is an uplifting tale, things never work out perfectly for the kids which is something I really like about it. It would be easy to pen a Hollywood-style picture-perfect ending, but that wouldn’t have made the story as relatable. Although life does dramatically transform for the better for the children, it is not without some sadness and heartbreak along the way. Nonetheless, the resolution is totally heart-warming.
All in all, Wish Upon a Leaf is a charming children’s book which proves that family is what you make of it.Follow Ellie Scott on WordPress.com