A charmingly ingenuous, comfortably spooky story of Early American Andrew, whose mother lends him for the summer to a strange old lady, a day's journey away, who claims to be ill and in need of help in her apothecary shop. When an apprehensive Andrew arrives at Aunt Lizard's (the children's name for Aunt Elizabeth, though she's nobody's aunt), he finds her in robust health; and even before his arrival all sorts of dark omens and mysterious encounters have pointed to the inevitable conclusion that she is a witch. Andrew's near-conversion by Aunt Lizard, who is a witch but a fond and pleasing hostess as well, his run-in with the truly evil witch Celestial Grace, his unwitting initiation by lord of the witches B. L. Zeebug, and his little dog's journey to the rescue, bearing Andrew's Bible in his teeth (the dog ""speaks"" throughout, though humans can't understand him)--all of this makes for an engaging witch story, disarming in its portrait of Aunt Lizard in crystal-clear shades. . . of gray.