Lulu Witch is excited to begin witch school—that is, until a know-it-all classmate spoils the experience. Will the two witches ever get along?
This reissue of O’Connor’s 1990 title features updated illustrations from Sinclair. Her pictures have a retro appeal that gives this quaint tale for beginning readers a classic touch. When children are not busy practicing their reading skills, they will have fun spotting the bugs, mouse, lizard or scorpion in each of the spot illustrations. The author deftly utilizes repetition and familiar sight words to create a story about a situation most kids will recognize. Lulu is ready to learn and make new friends, but Sandy Witch boasts about what she has and what she already knows how to do. (She may be a bit jealous of Lulu’s skill on the broom or the compliment Lulu receives from the teacher about her new dress.) Sandy makes fun of Lulu and continually tries to outdo her. When Lulu wakes up with lizard pox and cannot go to school, she’s at first glad to be away from Sandy Witch but then quickly gets bored. While Lulu walks to school on her first day back, she decides to not let Sandy Witch’s comments about her spots unnerve her. But when Sandy Witch comes to class with her own set of spots, the two girls finally begin to mend their relationship.
While new readers will giggle at details such as the teacher’s name (Miss Slime) or the rat-liver sandwich Lulu eats for lunch, mostly they will appreciate the story, which resonates with their own experience. (Early reader. 5-8)