The Berenstain Bears and the Wishing Star
Sister Bear wants a specific teddy bear. She tells everyone. She hasn't been doing well in math, and she wants to get a better grade. Mama Bear says, “Look! It's the wishing star.” Sister says, “What's the wishing star?” “You can wish on the wishing star!”
So she wishes on the star that she'll get the teddy bear. And the next day is her birthday, and she gets the teddy bear for her birthday. And then she says, “I'd like to get a B or an A on the math test.” So she wishes on the star again. And she gets an A on her math test. So they're happy.
Then she sees a pony, and she wishes for the pony. And the next day she gets up and goes outside and says, “Okay, where's the pony?” Nope, it's not there. And she's sad. And Brother says, “You have to be careful with the wishing star. If you're greedy or ask for too much, it may not hear you!”
”But I got my first wish.” “It was your birthday.” “You worked hard for that A. But a pony, I don't know about that.” “Well, two out of three isn't bad.” The end.
No. You can't leave it like that. You can't let readers think that she actually did get the wish. It's such a superstitious thing, to think that wishes are granted like that. You have to explain why she didn't get the pony. You can't just skim over that, like, “Oh well, too greedy! The wishing star doesn't grant greedy wishes!” No! She was greedy wishing for a teddy bear, too. She was greedy wishing for an A in math. She actually worked toward the A, and it happened to coincidentally be her birthday, but that's confirmation bias. She's just going to forget that she didn't get the pony, and she's going to go on thinking that the wishing star grants wishes because it granted her first two. So she's just going to keep wishing on a star, and only counting the times that it hits.
Unfortunately, her grade in science was not an A or a B.
The best part: “They got a reward. They were allowed to stay up and watch a special TV show.”
I don't personally think it was that greedy of Sister Bear to wish for the teddy bear and the A, but I do agree that teaching kids that magic exists isn't really a good thing.
My own mother would tell me that magic existed, and she saw it as "playing", but I, being a naive little girl, wholeheartedly believed in it, and I feel like in order for it to be playing, everyone has to know that it's pretend.
I also felt embarrassed when I figured out that there was no magic and she was just pretending, since I'm generally a logical sort of person and I felt embarrassed for believing it.