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From the Witch Baby series, volume 3

by Debi Gliori & illustrated by Debi Gliori

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-552-55679-8
Publisher: Corgi Children’s Books/Trafalgar

Lily knows her little sister Daisy is a witch.

No one else does, except for Lily’s best friend Vivaldi, and, of course, the Sisters of Hiss (Chin, Nose and Toad), who made Daisy a witch in her cradle. Daisy is currently fighting the idea of toilet training (“ ‘Not dunna poo,’ Daisy lies”) and given to wandering off at night to wreak little witchy havoc. The Sisters of Hiss contemplate finally taking Daisy back, in hilarious alternating chapters, but they want her toilet-trained first. Lily and Daisy’s school is preparing for the musical pageant, in which Lily will play her grandpa’s bagpipes and Daisy will be a monkey. The 400-plus-year-old Hisses face various challenges, most notably when a little girl named Yoshito decides Chin is a fairy godmother and her father is quite smitten. Gliori’s humor, as always in this series, is much concerned with the kind of adorable grossness common to small children, but she also uses typeface changes and completely wacky footnotes to great effect. The pictures are dazzling in their elegant daffiness, like the disembodied hands Daisy thinks will come out of the toilet if she sits on it. Visual and verbal nods to Sendak, Tolkien and others of the canon will delight. It reads aloud gloriously, but it will also be easily digested by daring chapter-book readers with its small page size and clear layout.

Ending with a school concert, a wedding and a sense of accomplishment for Daisy, all equally lovely, it will leave readers wondering how much trouble Daisy can make in the next installment. (Humorous fantasy. 8-12)