Witches seem to be making a comeback in Children’s books this fall! Two old favorite titles and one author have all come back into print…after a couple decades of only being able to find them by scouring library book sales, family yard sales and used book stores. So exciting!
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Little Witch, by Anna Elizabeth Bennett was featured as an Old Favorite in this blog way back in our very first year! The book has now come out with a 60th anniversary edition, and it has lost none of it’s charm in all those years. Any reader who loves The Rainbow Fairies will enjoy this tale of Minikin Snickasnee, the daughter of a witch who wants only to make some friends. Of course, when friendship leads to testing out her mother’s potions, things get dangerous…fast!
Little Witch is consistently one of the top books on the “most in demand” annual list of out of print books. It’s wonderful that after thirty years, it’s back!
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The Little Leftover Witch, by Florence Laughlin is another charming tale, back in print after over 40 years. Felina is a little witch who broke her broom on Halloween night, which left her stranded in a tree outside Lucinda Doon’s window. Lucinda manages to convince the little witch to come in and meet her parents, When Felina tells them that she cannot return to her witch world until the next Halloween, the Doons decide to give her and her cat Ichabody a home. But an untamed little witch does not make for a good house guest! Soon the Doons are helping Felina with everything from brushing her hair to learning not to curse…in the spell-casting kind of way. What happens over the course of that year will change Felina, Lucinda and the Doons forever.
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And then there’s Ruth Chew, an author I adored when I was in elementary school. Her books have been out of print for a couple decades, and have been sought by the kids who read them since them. Not many survived, since they were mostly paperbacks, and the paper quality wasn’t the best. So I was extremely happy to hear that Random House is bringing back all her books, releasing two to three each season until her whole catalog is out again.
In What the Witch Left, Katy and Louse find a key which opens the forbidden bottom drawer of a dresser. The drawer was locked years ago when Katy’s Aunt Martha left some valuables there. The girls aren’t impressed with the “junk” they find in the drawer, until Katie tries on what looks like an old robe…and vanishes! It’s an invisibility cloak! As the girls find out what each item does, their adventures take them all around the world. Who knew that aunt Martha was a witch!
In No Such Thing as a Witch, Nora and her brother Tad have always been a little uneasy about their neighbor, Maggie Brown. The old lady seems nice, but strange things seem to happen around her house. Things like squirrels reading newspapers and talking dogs. It all seems to be connected to the fudge Maggie makes. Nora discovers that one piece makes you love animals; after two pieces you will be able to understand animal languages. Three pieces make people act like an animal, and four pieces..? You’re in trouble!
The next two titles will be released in the spring of 2014. I don’t know what they are yet, but I hope one of them will be The Wednesday Witch, which was my absolute favorite of all Chew’s titles. There are still a few libraries that own the original title. It’s definitely worth requesting from another Minuteman Library if you are a new Ruth Chew fan.
Even though they’re older books, the stories (especially Little Witch and The Little Leftover Witch) are timeless. I would say that they’re a solid third grade reading level, but are accessible to kids in second through fourth grades. They’re also fun to read-aloud, especially at this time of year. If you check our catalog (as I did this evening) you’ll find that the books are already checked out! So it might be best to put in a request if you want to read any of them.
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Because I was so excited about the return of these four titles, I made a witch display at the library to feature them! If you’re looking for one of these books, or any other tales featuring witches, come check it out. If you’d like to try a witchy recipe or craft, or see a booklist about witches, check out our first October Newsletter, featuring…witches, of course! And here it is:
(If you do happen to visit us at the library, check out Bella’s costume. She’s very proud of it.)