ISBN 0590132059 - It seems like every childrens' book I read these days has something to merit a note for the crazy parents. This one is no different. If you're a parent who thinks magic is somehow linked to evil, pass this one up. If you're a parent who's going to be bothered by an anti-hunting message (for real, they exist), go read something else.
The nameless narrator of The Magic Finger tells a story about her neighbors, the Greggs, who enjoy hunting for sport - much to her dismay. Having begged them to stop, she reaches the end of her rope and "puts the magic finger on them all!" in anger. The next morning, the family has begun to turn into ducks, growing wings where their arms had been. At first, the idea of flying makes this change somewhat appealing, but that changes quickly as the Greggs spot four ducks moving into their house - leaving them without food or shelter! They must learn to fend for themselves as ducks until an agreement is reached with the new "people" living in their house.
There's more than one message in this book - first, the repercussions of not controlling your anger, as our narrator discovers when her magic finger is the cause of more than one incident. Second, the anti-hunting theme, which doesn't state that no one should ever hunt. It just says the girl is bothered by the Greggs' hunting for fun. Third, the family reaches an understanding of how the ducks felt, showing that at least trying to see things from someone else's viewpoint is good. There's plenty here, in this tiny book, to talk about with your child! Worth a read for parent and child alike.
What can I say...All of Roald Dahl books are wonderful! This is a great read for 8 year olds at home and at school. Amust for the bookshelf of any pre adolescent!