The Sweetest Witch Around

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
The Sweetest Witch Around Book Poster Image
Young witch falls for human candy in cute Halloween tale.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

A review of the habits of humans and the customs and costumes of Halloween. 

Positive Messages

Knowledge is power; the brave little witch believes her sister won't fear humans if she understands them. Watch out for your siblings, and come to the rescue if they're in trouble. Be brave and kind. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The brave little witch cares for her little sister and tries to give her information to help her be brave, too. Witchling is bold but a little reckless, taking off on a broom when she hasn't fully learned how to fly. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Alison McGhee's The Sweetest Witch, illustrated by Harry Bliss, is a companion to A Brave Little Witch (which was adapted for an animated DVD). Here, the brave one from the original book is teaching her little sister, Witchling, not to be afraid of humans by learning about them and their ways -- especially on Halloween. But one taste of human candy leads Witchling to try trick-or-treating -- and she needs to be rescued. There's nothing scary here for young kids, just cute cartoon-like illustrations and gentle giggles.  

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What's the story?

A brave little witch is teaching her little sister, Witchling, to fear humans and dislike their candy. But once Witchling gets a taste of it, she zooms off on a broom to the humans' world on Halloween night to blend in with the trick-or-treaters and get more. The brave little witch and her cat, Kitty, fly down to save her, but after they scoop her up on the broom, they find Witchling's hat is so full of candy, it's weighing them down and they're about to crash into a tree. All is saved when Witchling tips over the hat and showers the costumed kids below with treats. 

Is it any good?

THE SWEETEST WITCH AROUND is a fun twist on the humans-afraid-of witches theme, flipping it in a way that will amuse young kids. They'll giggle when the brave witch says, "Candy -- yuck"; when Kitty yells, "Holy catnip!"; and when Witchling calls the town below their broom "Candy land!"

Illustrator Harry Bliss plants clever touches in his cartoon-like spreads that kids and parents can discover, such as Witchling cooking a potion in her "Easy-Bake Cauldron" and playing with a skeleton doll labeled "Graveyard Barbie." 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about witches. How are they different from humans? 

  • Look at the pictures of the witches' world. How is it different from or similar to our world? 

  • Which do you like better: funny witches or scary witches? 

Book details

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For kids who love Halloween

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