Julia Donaldson’s latest picture book, Teeny Weeny Genie, illustrated by Anna Currey might be best described as the classic nursery rhyme Old Macdonald had a Farm meets Disney’s Aladdin.
Old Macdonald had a farm, and on that farm he had a teapot, and in that teapot lived a teeny weeny blue genie who just wanted some peace and quiet.
But when Old Macdonald decides to do a bit of spring cleaning, the teeny weeny genie’s peaceful life goes out the window. Soon Old Macdonald wishes for wife, and soon Mrs MacDonald wishes for a baby and Baby Macdonald wishes for a dog, who wishes for a cat, who wishes for mice and soon Old Macdonald’s farm becomes SUPER noisy!
There is a joyful balance of wacky wishes and the traditional nursery rhyme onomatopoeia. So much so, that at one point, my little girl broke into song and began singing Old Macdonald had a farm and pointing to all the different animals. Like with the mish-mash of nursery rhyme and Aladdin, there is also a blend of prose and rhyming text. My daughter and I absolutely loved the genie’s rhyming spells, particularly: “ABC and XYZ, Cauliflower cheese and chocolate spread”!
The question is, will the teeny weeny blue genie ever get a break from granting wishes, and find some peace and quiet? Aladdin’s magic carpet might not make an appearance in this story, but as the cover suggests, maybe there is a way he could somehow him fly away…
Teeny Weeny Genie is a charming fresh take on the cautionary theme “be careful what you wish for”. Children will absolutely love the connections to the beloved nursery rhyme, Old Macdonald had a farm. The rhyming passages and wacky wishes are hilarious and delightful! We loved it.
Publication date: 6 August 2020
I am very grateful to the publisher for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. This voluntary review contains my honest opinion.