A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is definitely a book to consider closely before reading to a child. The witch is too scary for most kids at the picture book level (older kids are more likely to want to read something meatier), and images include a doll that looks like a corpse.
What's the story?
Is it any good?
Jos Smith's illustrations perfectly suit the book: The story opens with the witch floating through crooked trees looking like any kid's worst nightmare. Yorinks is an adept storyteller and Smith is an effective illustrator, but this perfect marriage of author and illustrator just makes for a more frightening book. Read at your own risk and certainly vet before passing it on to the kids.
Arthur Yorinks is a frequent collaborator with Maurice Sendak and the men share a fascination with archetypal tales with fairy-tale elements and creepy stories that often give parents pause. While Sendak didn't join him for this story, Yorinks' fascination with the juvenile macabre is certainly on display here. It's difficult to figure out the intended audience for this creepy book about a witch who wants a child. It seems like a curiosity piece for kids old enough to want to be spooked since it's much too scary for anyone young enough to be reaching for picture books.
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