Jenna was born on Halloween; her mother was dressed up as a witch when she went into labor. Now she delights Jenna by...

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WITCH MAMA

Jenna was born on Halloween; her mother was dressed up as a witch when she went into labor. Now she delights Jenna by pretending to be a cackling Witch Mama every Halloween. Mickey, Jenna's younger brother, doesn't like the game. When Mama cackles he says, ""No."" When she tries to make him up for trick-or-treating he says, ""No."" When Jenna takes him to the haunted house he says, ""No."" Like most preschoolers, he adapts, and comes to love Witch Mama in the end. Brightly colored illustrations capture the Halloween action as it might be experienced in a small town. The plotting gets a little amorphous, with most of the scenes equally weighted and lacking in direction and suspense: a flashback to explain the Witch Mama's origins, a breakfast scene, dressing up after school, trick-or-treating in the neighborhood, a Happy Birthday scene (with candles in four candy bars, this also seems to be the dinner scene), walking to school with all the other costumed children, and finally, school, for a Halloween party. Caseley (Slumber Party!, p. 293, etc.) uncharacteristically loads the text with explanations, leaving readers without the satisfaction of finding clues in the artwork themselves. The book becomes more of a primer on celebrating Halloween than a story about the Witch Mama.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Greenwillow

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1996