Friday, July 18, 2008

Trouble with wishes by Diane Stanley

This is a sort of retelling of Pygmalion. But I think it's really a re-hash of the worst movie/book plot of all time - the plain girl and the oblivious jerk.

We have: A plain girl (named Jane no less and a brunette of course) who really likes a guy. We have the oblivious guy who is really talented and cool and desirable (not sure why, as his statues don't look as good in the illustrations as they're described in the text). In one slight variation from the cliched plot, Jane serves his every whim to learn how to sculpt, not because she's in luuurrrve.

He makes a "perfect" sculpture of a goddess and falls in love (this is the Pygmalion part) and it comes to life. It is, of course, a blonde. She only cares about her appearance and is totally selfish. All Pygmalion's devotion is wasted and he returns to his faithful Jane, who has sculpted a faithful friend, namely a dog. Now if she'd just stuck with the dog and kicked out the aptly named "Pyg"....

Verdict: Kids are unlikely to know the Pygmalion myth and this fractured retelling isn't particularly interesting. I would pass it if Jane had served Pygmalion to learn how to sculpt and then went on her way, but having her fall in love with a self-obsessed jerk adds nothing to the story, other than irritating the adult reader.

ISBN: 0060554525; Published January 2007 by HarperCollins; Borrowed from the library

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