WELL MET BY WITCHLIGHT by Nina Beachcroft

WELL MET BY WITCHLIGHT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

American readers who get past the early prim Briticisms such as ""Oh dear, oh dear, whatever shall we do"" (they seem to taper off as the action gets under way) will find this a satisfactorily cozy witch story about the three Fraser children who meet a funny old lady on a treetop in the woods. Essentially Mary, the benign sorceress, functions as the family wish fulfiller, with a few qualifying rules to keep things manageable; she makes Christopher superstrong for his birthday (when he wins momentary fame by catching a grownup pickpocket), takes Sarah on a broomstick ride, plants little Lucy's tooth which comes up a flower, turns Mother's Halloween party into a lively hit, blocks a proposed highway, and even cures Granny of a serious illness. The snags and tension needed to keep readers wondering are provided by Mary's enemy -- the bad witch Mrs. Black, who attempts to hex the children's mother (of course they can't tell Mother why she shouldn't deal with Mrs. Black), applies her powers in behalf of the highway, and momentarily tempts Sarah, the oldest child and thus most given to doubt, in a final Fireworks Night confrontation between the two witches. Beachcroft's witchlight won't illuminate any corners of darkness but it does provide a modicum of temporary warmth.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1973
Publisher: Atheneum