SPELL ME A WITCH by Barbara Willard

SPELL ME A WITCH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is one of those light, innocuous witch-school concoctions, complete with such token expressions of backward morality as the principal's looking for the ""worst"" (read most satisfactory) solution to a problem or approving her pupils' ""nice jeering noise"" when the school is inspected by the three ancient high queens of witchdom. There is nothing remotely sinister about this close community of little girls named for spices (Tarragon, Marjoram, Chervil) and their mother-hen principal Belladonna--all of whom bustle about preparing wine-glass summoning and tablecloth-removing tricks in preparation for the trio's visit. The major dither centers on mischievous little Angelica, who early on decides rashly to transform herself into a regular boarding-school girl with pigtails--but gets the spell a little wrong and becomes a blazer-clad pig instead. Sadly missing, she turns up in the midst of the inspection dinner, reducing a high success to chaos. The rest is mostly about how Belladonna and her girls foil the trio's plans to take Angelica with them as an example of an irreversible transformation, and how they finally restore her to her true form with the aid of infant's tears, yew plucked at midnight during a lunar eclipse, and their own united concern. This is for little girls inclined to be diverted by the magical trappings--there's much playful pseudo-Latin charm-casting, such as ""snorum totorum"" to reinforce a sleeping potion--but it's not witty enough to delight as a romp, and Willard forfeits involvement by not fixing on any one gift's viewpoint.

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 1981
ISBN: 1408448033
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich