Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches

The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches by Alice Low, illustrated by Karen Gundersheimer (1978).  

This was one of my Halloween favorites growing up.  It's the story of a young witch who lives with her older sisters who are bossy and mean to her.  They make her feel like she's not good enough to do magic like they can.  But one Halloween she befriends a trick-or-treater and learns she really does have witch magic.

It was reissued in 2000 with new illustrations by Jane Manning and made into an "I Can Read" book.  From the images I've seen of that version (Amazon), they are perfectly nice illustrations but lack the quirkiness of the original version.  It's actually really interesting to compare the two to show how a story can have such a different feeling depending on the illustrations. The expressions of the character faces in Gundersheimer's version just can't be beat. 

See my Pinterest board for more Halloween books.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Trouble with Mom

The Trouble with Mom by Babette Cole (Putnam, 1984).  

This is a book from my childhood that is a lot of fun.  I used to read it at Halloween time although it's not actually about the holiday.  It's about a boy whose mom is quite eccentric.  Although she's never called a witch in the text, the pictures portray her as such.  His mom doesn't fit in with his classmates' parents, in fact they call her names and don't let their kids hang out at their house. The boy is ashamed and wishes his mom were normal.  But when a fire breaks out at school, his mom saves the day and the other parents realize she's ok afterall.  This is a funny book with a good message to not judge people who are different.