CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Allen Morgan. Illustrated by Michael Martchenko.
Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press, 1991.
32pp., galley, $14.95.
ISBN 0-19-540823-3. CIP.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8

Reviewed by Linda Coleman.

Volume 19 Number 6
1991 November

This charming book clearly illuminates how well Allen Morgan knows children.

With the approach of hockey season, Joey dreams of new skates, but his father buys him an embarrassing second-hand pair. The kindly salesman whispers to Joey that even thought the skates are old and worn, they possess the power to provide each owner with three wishes.

Joey tries out his first wish the very next day, and it works! He does seem to be a better skater than he had been the year before.

Later, Joey gets a chance to play with the "big guys" (and girls) on his older brother's neighbourhood team. He makes his second wish - "l wish I could skate like the big kids" - and the power of the skates works again. Even though he's the smallest player, his weeks of diligent practicing have paid off, and Joey can dip and deke and streak with such skill that no one can touch him.

There is only one wish left, and Joey saves it carefully. When his brother Zach is injured in the play-offs for the league championship, Joey uses the magic to help both Zach and his team.

Morgan incorporates the message of believing in yourself subtly, allowing the young reader to decide - are the skates really magic? Or did Joey skate so well because he tried so hard and never gave up?

Complementing Morgan's trademark up-beat language and positive mood, Martchenko has matched his bright, breezy illustrations to create appealing and familiar characters. He captures the feel of the ice and its sport with such aplomb that we may wonder, was he indeed the past owner of a pair of magic skates?

Linda Coleman, Winnipeg, MB.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works