THE WITCHES GUIDE TO COOKING WITH CHILDREN by Keith McGowan

THE WITCHES GUIDE TO COOKING WITH CHILDREN

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 11 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

In this mordant contemporary remake of “Hansel and Gretel,” 11-year-old Sol and his little sister Connie find out the hard way that their next-door neighbor is a centuries-old witch. Readers know what’s in store for Sol and Connie right from the riveting opening line, which is taken from the witch’s deliciously detailed diary: “I love children. Eating them, that is.” She never goes hungry either, because there are always misbehaving children being “donated” by weary parents—or snagged by one of the witch’s secret allies, of which the town librarian is one. Though evidently unfamiliar with the traditional tale, Sol, a genius with electronic gear, and his even more clever little sib quickly figure out that something’s wrong and launch an investigation. Not that that keeps them out of the witch’s clutches…. McGowan doesn’t follow the traditional plot very closely but he does include some folkloric elements. He sets up a credible chemistry between the children and gives the witch her say through her diary, which punctuates the narration. Tanaka’s occasional full-page views of grim, heavy-lidded figures add a suitably gothic tone. Yum. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8050-8668-3
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2009




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