Review Blog

Jan 22 2019

Lucy Newton, little witch by Phoebe McArthur

cover image

Christmas Press, 2019. ISBN 9780648194507
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Themes: Witches. Spells. Cautionary tale. Lucy's mother, a witch, leaves the house on the way to a meeting. Lucy is a little peeved as Mum seems to always be at meetings, leaving her alone. Only one instruction is given: not to go into the study. Lucy plays with her doll for a while, but as the doll's arm is falling off, she searches the house for needle and thread to repair the toy. Unable to find these, she ventures into the study, thinking about the last time when she accidentally called up a spell resulting in porridge spreading through the house. Of course she opens the spell book, but determined not to make the same mistake again, she starts to close it, but sees a spell for a cat, and tries it out. After all with a cat for company she does not need the doll. But of course things go wrong, instead of a cat she has a nasty green, slimy slug. But help is at hand when the book begins to talk to her, offering its help. To stop the slug she must find the white hairs from a cat, and in doing this finds a friend in Thomas the cat next door, and as it turns out his mistress as well.
With nods to The sorcerer's apprentice, this easily read cautionary tale will reinforce the reasons instructions are given and the consequences of not obeying them.
Funny illustrations by the author support the tale throughout the book, splitting the text into easily digested pieces. Presented in nine short chapters means early readers will have little trouble accessing the book for their own pleasure.
Fran Knight

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