As usual, nothing exciting is happening in Smallbridge. Elsie Pickles is still helping in Pickles’ Emporium, but is finding it very dull. To amuse herself, she has been dabbling with magic she has learned from Magenta Sharp, the Red Witch from Crookfinger Forest.. However, magic is frowned on in Smallbridge and so when Magenta decides to open a magic shop, ‘Sharp Spells the Shop', many of the locals make it clear that witches are not welcome in their town. As Magenta’s shop tempts more and more visitors to Smallbridge, tensions come to a head. But perhaps a little magic is just what everyone needs?!
Great favourites here at JABHQ, I was delighted to find that there is a third to this wonderful series of books which are both fun and funny! For those who haven’t read the others, there is a helpful summary of characters and events at the beginning to set you on the right path.
As usual the story bounces along at a good pace and is full of fabulous characters. Elsie is her usual lovely self, but even she finds it hard to remain cool in the face of some of the intolerance and bigotry displayed by other residents of Smallbridge. Magenta is as irritable and unconventional as ever and leans the hard way that taking shortcuts is not always a wise way of getting what you want!
There is a strong message running through the story about lack of acceptance and people being ‘witchist’. Kaye Umansky exposes the narrow minded ideas of some townspeople which sadly seem to reflect those of a sector of society. However, by the end of the book, most people agree that the introduction of witches to their town has been a positive change and harmony is restored.
Ashley King’s wonderful illustrations appear throughout the book- most pages have a touch of his magic! He manages to capture the characters perfectly, adding to the humour of the story. They really are a winning team!
‘Witches’ (Un)Welcome’ is full of wit, wisdom and wonderful illustrations! A great one to add to your summer reading!
Witches (Un)Welcome Kaye Umansky, illustrated by Ashley King
Simon and Schuster ISBN: 978-1471175602