Newly independent readers with younger siblings will be sympathetic with Lulu Witch’s frustrations concerning Witch Baby and amused when her remedial potion and spell deliver unexpected results.
With Witch Baby around, Lulu does not get the attention she once did. Witch Baby gets all the presents, Mama Witch has no time to watch Lulu fly on her broom, and Daddy Witch is too busy to fix Lulu’s dollhouse. Everyone is focused on Witch Baby even when she does bad things. When Mama Witch asks Lulu to watch the baby while she runs an errand, Lulu sees her chance, finding a recipe for a magic brew to make her little sister disappear. At first the potion does not seem to work, but then Witch Baby is nowhere to be found. Lulu’s initial moment of triumph is quickly replaced by worry, then remorse. What will happen when Mama comes home? This reissue of O’Connor’s classic tale (originally illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully in 1986) has new illustrations by Sinclair with a retro feel, charming with comic details. Industrious mice scurry about many of the pages, worms crawl out of an overturned cauldron, and Mama Witch knits with freshly spun spider silk.
Share this well-designed story with those grappling with sibling issues or with a small group come October. Truly, it is a good title to pick up anytime. (Early reader. 4-8)