Does Elsie Pickles have what it takes to become a witch for a week?
We have recently discovered this charming series aimed at 4-11 year olds by Kaye Umansky. Witch for a Week is the first book in this delightful series with plans for more coming soon. The story really begins when the central character Elsie Pickles offers to house-sit the mysterious home of local witch Magenta Sharp. Although keen and looking forward to a break from her hectic family life, she really has no idea what she is letting herself in for. Left with a talking raven and a scruffy dog for company, a magical tower that has a mind of its own and a book of instructions titled Everything You Need to Know, she is set for a week of magical adventures!
As she begins her week of witch training, she encounters a whole host of other characters, who both help and hinder her progress along the way. It is a wonderfully inventive and bewitching story for young readers who may be making their first foray into independent reading, but it is also so much fun to read aloud! If you ever needed an excuse to read to your child then this would be it! The characters are carefully crafted, the setting utterly bewitching and with enough suspense to keep the story moving forward you will want to read on and on!
Ashley King’s illustrations add to the sense of magic because they are gloriously detailed and intricate. They give us an insight into the enchanting world that Elsie is lucky enough to be a part of and if I am honest made me feel a little bit jealous! Who wouldn’t want to be a witch for a week?! The host of quirky characters come alive through the illustrator’s portrayal of them with the added touch of humour that is also present in the writing.
We have also read the second book in the series – Wish for a Witch, in which Elsie’s adventures continues. In this book, she needs to use her gained magical knowledge to help Magenta save her magic licence after getting into a (big) spot of with her postal order spell business. Then a grumpy genie escapes from a magic mirror and she has even more of a mess to clean up! The highlight of this story for me is The Sorcerer’s Bazaar – a place that dreams are made of!
With all the magical ingredients for a spellbinding story Witch for a Week makes a captivating, funny and heartwarming tale that I am sure will spark the imagination of your little bookworms. I am really looking forward to seeing what further adventures await Elsie Pickles and where her journey leads….
What magical stories do your children enjoy reading? Is there anything you read aloud to your little bookworms because you like it yourself and need an excuse to read children’s fiction?! Let me know in the comments below.