Readers count witches from one to 10 and then back down again.
The first two spreads counting up to six seem to exist largely to suit the rhyme scheme rather than to add to any story. But then, “Seven chant. / Eight incant. / Nine wicked witches rave and rant.” Each with her own broom, the coven seems to be stirring up a potion, but then suddenly one witch decides to force the giant, dinosaurlike maid to trade brooms with her—the larger one is topped with a skull and can luckily fit all nine witches plus an additional hanger-on as they make their escape from the none-too-happy maid. All this is gleaned only from the illustrations, and readers can easily miss the visual cues, making the tale seem even slighter than it already is. The 10 witches ride the one broomstick, losing the witch in front one at a time to various accidents and spells. In the end, the nine watch the smallest witch as she glides atmospherically across the full moon. Bonnet’s illustrations are largely dark blue and black with small pops of color from hair or accessories. The dark palette suits the subject but also makes differentiation difficult. This also means that the numerals are sometimes more hidden than they should be for children just learning to recognize them.
Not much more than a counting book. (Picture book. 3-7)