HOODWINKED by Arthur  Howard


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 8
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When it’s time to choose a pet, a young witch named Mitzi requires something that is definitely not cute or cuddly. Her creepy relatives have appropriately creepy pets, like piranhas and crocodiles, and one so creepy that it cannot be identified. At the pet store, the shop lady with the short green nose and long blue teeth helps her in selecting from an assortment of repulsive creatures. Mitzi brings home a slimy toad and a pair of bats, but they don’t participate in her activities or respond to her in any way. The toad just keeps eating bugs and the bats just “hang around with each other.” When a kitten appears at her door, she reluctantly invites it in. Though it is “simply not creepy enough” and much too cute, she discovers that it provides true companionship and love. She names the kitten “Hoodwink,” in recognition of her surprise at actually loving a pet so adorable. In a nice twist on the homily, she admits that appearances are indeed deceiving. Howard employs simple, child-friendly language that never simpers. His colorful, appealing cartoon illustrations go beyond the text to depict a charming, eccentric little witch doing perfectly ordinary witchlike activities. Mitzi may be a witch, but she is entirely non-threatening. She eats “Rice Creepies” for breakfast, travels to the pet store by broomstick, reads “Vulture Culture” with great interest, and wears slippers that look surprisingly like the Tasmanian Devil. These illustrations enhance and enrich an amusing story that is sure to please. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-15-202656-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2001


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