Reviews for Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 March

Gr 4-6--When Sol, 11, and Connie, 8, move into their new house, they discover that their neighbor isn't all that she appears to be. In Keith McGowan's contemporary version (Holt, 2009) of Hansel and Gretel, listeners are given a glimpse into the macabre and outlandish activities of Fay Holaderry, the neighborhood witch, and her dog. Brought to Grand Creek by their new stepmother and the man they believe to be their father, Sol and Connie begin unraveling the mystery of their strange neighbor and the hidden secrets of their own lives, and soon become caught up in a somewhat precarious series of events. Included in the narration are snippets of the witch's own diary, adding to the eeriness and sometimes humorous mood of this modernized classic tale which fans of Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl are sure to appreciate. Laural Merlington brings Fay to life, giving her an eerie air of aloofness as she retells the cannibalistic tales of capturing and cooking her unsuspecting victims. She adds just enough tonal variation to distinguish the other characters, and her clear and almost melodic tone makes this an overall enjoyable listening experience.--Amy Joslyn, Fairport Public Library, NY

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