26 Oct 2012



Lily is 9. Her sister Daisy is 1. And she's no ordinary baby. Somehow, when she was born, something went rather wrong... and now Daisy is a Witch Baby. Nobody knows this but Lily - she's the only one who can see when Daisy makes the fridge float in the air, or turns people into slugs, or summons up her very stinky dog Waywoof...
..... Amazon book description.

FIRST SENTENCE (Winding Up The Witch): In the hall, a clock chimed five times, paused, and then chimed fifteen times more.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 6 ): ..... 'Soon it will be Halloween,' she said. 'One of the biggest days in the witchy year. The night when every human child for milles around thinks that all they have to do is slip into a black plastic bin-bag, paint their faces green, hurl talcum powder into their hair and - hey presto - they're witches.'

MY THOUGHTS: The third book in the 'Witch Baby' series. Recommended on some sites as being suitable for children aged three plus I would personally think this more suitable for those aged 8 (possibly 7) onwards.

To tell you a little more about the book .... It's Halloween and whilst this means the 'Sisters of Hiss' mustn't do anything to make people suspect that they are witches, Lily, Daisy and friends are dressed, ready to go trick-or-treating, when disaster strikes as Waywoof, Daisy's magical, invisible, and incredibly smelly, goes missing.

Worthy of the odd giggle every now and then, sadly I just didn't find the exploits of Witch Baby and co as amusing as I thought I would. Arguably not anything to do with the writing itself, it's just that there are those children's books where the humour is funny no matter what the age then there are books such as this where the humour really is more child focused and thus I believe you have to be either a child reading it OR an adult reading it to a child in order to truly appreciate it. 

Not too keen on foot notes in adult literature, I tend to find them very distracting, I'm loathe to say that I found them inappropriate in what after all is a child's book but will say that I did think they spoilt the flow of the narrative and can't imagine they added anything to the reading of the book to a child. 

The one thing I did love about the book? The pen and ink illustrations that were sometimes nothing more than a silhouette -  brilliantly done and very funny, full credit to Debi Gliori who I believe penned the drawings as well as wrote the book.

KEEP IT OR NOT?: Ex-library stock, I won't be keeping this one.


fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I have no children to buy for that are in the age group for this book any more and I am not sure that the storyline is something I would want to subject them to anyway! It doesn't sound particularly nice, or even palatable!

The only good thing about the book, as with many children's books these days, are the quality of the illustrations. I know that there are some great electronic tools out there which make the whole process of illustrating much simpler, however the vision and perceptiveness still has to come from the illustrator and there are certainly some very talented ones out there.

I agree that this is probably one that is better left on the library shelves!


Shooting Stars Mag said...

Footnotes in a children's note? That is quite odd. I haven't read many novels with them, but I wouldn't mind it...if it was for an older audience.

Sorry this didn't work for you! Some humor definitely suits the young crowd only.

carol said...

I'll pass. Honestly, I don't even like the title.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Honestly, I think I'd pick this one up more for the illustrations anyway. :) Thanks for the review.

naida said...

The illustrations sound nice, but I do wonder why the footnotes in a kids book.

Suko said...

Sorry this was not as amusing as hoped. Thanks for sharing our thoughts about this book.

Claudine G. said...

I read a sample of the text from the Amazon link and don't think it's suitable for three-year-olds, too. (But hey, if a three-year-old can read this, he/she's really something!)

DMS said...

I haven't heard of this book or series. The cover os cute and it sounds like it has great illustrations. I don't recall ever seeing footnotes in a children's book.

Karen said...

Footnotes for a children's book would be very detracting I would think.

I can't imagine they would have the patience for that.

Betty Manousos said...

it just isn't the kind of book i care to read either.

but i really enjoyed your brilliant review.

hope you're having a good weekend!


StarTraci said...

As always, I'm glad to hear your review. I might have been tempted by the cute title and cover. And I agree footnotes don't make sense in a children's book.

Happy Sunday!

Brandileigh2003 (Blkosiners Book Blog) said...

Glad that the illustrations at least were good, even if the humor didn't measure up.
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

Jenners said...

I agree with you … sometimes you need to either BE a child or be with one to appreciate some kid books.