The Witch's Curse
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Witch's Curse, sequel to The Witch's Guide to Cooking With Children, is scary, funny, and often startlingly sweet. Kids Sol and Connie, who escaped Hansel and Gretel's witch in the first book, face new dangers from a witch who transforms children into animals and then sends a hunter after them. Things are seldom what they seem, awful fates are constantly lurking, and nerd genius Sol is constantly trying to protect Connie, who's often the classic bratty little sister. There's a lot of heart in the story and in Yoko Tanaka's spookily appealing illustrations; some sensitive kids may find the deaths of kids at the hands of the hunter, and the well-conveyed sense of being a kid transformed into a hunted animal, too scary.
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What's the Story?
Following their encounter with the child-cooking witch in The Witch's Guide to Cooking With Children, siblings Sol and Connie flee their hometown, hoping to reach their long-lost aunt. Instead, they are soon lost in a scary forest, home to another witch, and a hunter she's cursed with hunting down children she's transformed into animals. Things get even scarier when Sol starts turning into a deer.
Is It Any Good?
THE WITCH'S CURSE is scary, funny, and heartfelt, and author Keith McGowan, helped by Yoko Tanaka's distinctive illustrations, manages this difficult balancing act in style. Characters -- good and evil -- are complex and thought-provoking, Sol and Connie's terrors and triumphs will resonate with many kids, and the fast-moving plot is full of surprises. Although this is a sequel, it includes enough essential information from the first volume that it can be read first.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Sol and Connie's relationship as siblings -- how are they like other brothers and sisters you know? How are they different?
Why are books about witches and magic so popular? What others have you read and liked?
Various characters in the story are operating under a curse that limits what they're able to do. Why do you think some of them just give up and others keep trying to do the right thing?
- Author: Keith McGowan
- Illustrator: Yoko Tanaka
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Fairy Tales, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Wild Animals
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Henry Holt & Company, Inc.
- Publication date: March 19, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 12
- Number of pages: 304
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
Our Editors Recommend
Summer & Bird
Wildly imaginative quest to find parents in mythic world.
Half-faery boy fights to save his sister in magical fantasy.
The Sisters Grimm Series
Fascinating fractured fairy tales grow darker, tenser.
For kids who love fantasy and magic
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