In this book for middle readers, I WIsh Raisins Could Float, first-time author Gerald Walker spins a quirky yarn of how a love for pets can, eventually, soften hearts and repair strained family relations.
The premise of the book is almost universal: fourteen year-old Allison and her eight year-old brother Caleb want a pet. Their father, full of speeches about order, tidiness and organization, is hesitant. Then dad decides he wants a new set of golf clubs, and mom steps in, insisting that the the family get a dog as well. They adopt a Pomeranian pup named Penny, and Allison enacts “The Law of Penny: mere mortals, after catching even a glimpse of Penny, get an uncontrollable urge to touch her long, fluffy hair.” But this is a law to which her father and brother seem immune. Unimpressed with Penny, Caleb receives a goldfish on his eighth birthday, which he loves so much he can’t resist taking it out of the bowl and sticking it in his pocket to take for long walks. But his love for the dead fish is unconditional. unaffected by small concerns such as breathing.
While the resolution of I WIsh Raisins Could Float may not be new (pets make us love them whether we like it or not), the route taken to get there is unique and charming. The story is full of well-written and genuinely funny sidebars, ranging from a discussion of ridiculous (and fictitious) sci-fi movies like Frogs and Slugs (Caption:
With I Wish Raisins Could Float, Gerald Walker has managed to tell a universal story in an unconventional manner.The result is highly recommended, particularly to middle readers who love their pets.