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Winnie the Witch


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About the Author

Anthony Clark is Artistic Director at the Manchester Contact Theatre and has been Associate Director at the Birmingham Repertory. He is a well-known director and playwright in hi own right. His adaptations for children have been widely performed, and include The Snowman, The Little Prince, The Pied Piper, and Pinocchio.


Winnie the witch has a black house. The interior of the house is also blackthe rooms, walls, furniture, utensils, etc. Her cat is Wilbur, black with bright green eyes. When Wilbur closes his eyes to doze off, he disappears into the background of Winnie's home, and she accidentally tramples himagain and again. This practical witch, who loves her feline friend, changes his color to green. But when he's outside in the grass, the problem recurs. She then waves her wand over him five times and turns him into a five-color cat, but Wilbur is mortified and climbs up a tree to hide. Winnie brings him back to his original state and instead uses colorization on the big black house. In true Halloween spirit, Paul's pictures of the witch's house are spooky and most imaginative. Her palette of gray, black and white in the opening pages reveals all the eerie details of Wilbur and Winnie's existence, and the technicolor transformation is a startling surprise. Thomas's story is simply stated, with a cauldron-full of original humor. Ages 4-8. (October)

PreS-Gr 2-A witch has a problem. Although she is a fairly colorful dresser, everything that surrounds her-her house, her furniture, and even her cat, Wilbur-is black. She has no trouble keeping tabs on him while he is awake (he has huge emerald eyes) but when asleep, his black coat blends in with the carpet and furniture and Winnie is forever tripping over or sitting on him. She casts a spell and turns him green, then rainbow colored, but the transformations never quite work out. Paul's illustrations are full of energy and Winnie fully vibrates off the page. Although there is a lot of black in each picture, there is enough variation to see each sooty item in Winnie's very dark house. This book was originally published in the U.K. (Oxford Univ., 1987). While the font and the front cover are different, the story and illustrations are essentially unchanged. Libraries that have the first edition won't need to purchase this one; for others, it's a fun, colorful book to spark discussions of creative problem-solving techniques.-Susan E. Murray, Glendale Public Library, AZ Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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