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An Eva Ibbotson Collection: Which Witch?, The Secret of Platform 13, Island of the Aunts Hardcover – May 21, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Magic and mermaids, fierce old aunts and tenderly wicked witches, krakens and spoiled brats and adorable baby mistmakers. Eva Ibbotson is at her finest when writing about mystical places and fantastic creatures. Her legions of fans will be thrilled to see not one, not two, but three fabulous titles from this master of droll fantasies collected in one thoroughly satisfying volume.

A powerful wizard seeks a wife from among the local witches in Which Witch?. Dismayed at the prospect of warts and whiskers, yet still grimly determined, he holds a contest to establish the very wickedest witch--with surprising results. In The Secret of Platform 13, a long-awaited baby prince is kidnapped from his secret island home. Nine long years later, the king and queen select several of the rather peculiar islanders to rescue the boy from London, where, unfortunately, he seems to have grown into quite an unpleasant child. And last but not least, The Island of the Aunts involves still more kidnapping. This time, three kindly but somewhat ferociously single-minded aunts decide they need a few children to help them care for the mythical animals that have found a safe haven on their island. Devotees of Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling, take note! Eva Ibbotson is well worth more than a peek. (Ages 8 to 12) --Emilie Coulter

About the Author

Eva Ibbotson, born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner (21 January 1925 ��� 20 October 2010), was an Austrian-born British novelist, known for her children's books. Some of her novels for adults have been successfully reissued for the young adult market in recent years. For the historical novel Journey to the River Sea (Macmillan, 2001), she won the Smarties Prize in category 9���11 years, garnered unusual commendation as runner up for the Guardian Prize, and made the Carnegie, Whitbread, and Blue Peter shortlists. She was a finalist for the 2010 Guardian Prize at the time of her death. Her last book, The Abominables, was one of eight books on the longlist for the same award in 2012.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 9
  • Series: Ibbotson Reader
  • Hardcover: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 6th Printing edition (May 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525467769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525467762
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2.2 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,089,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Larratt on January 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
On one hand this is a fun, fast moving, and engaging kids book that's got a dark and twisted sense of fun. However, and perhaps this is a left-over from it being written in the seventies, but there are unnerving moments of bigotry peppered through it. Characters insult each other by calling each other "faggot" in a derogatory sense, and there are occasional racial jokes like all "Chinamen look alike". A parent reading it to their kids can easily censor or discuss this with their kid, but depending on the circumstances the casual bigotry in the book might be enough to cause one to choose a different story. Be warned.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book was really good! I was waiting for the next Harry Potter book to come out when I saw this book. I was really glad I got it. It wasn't just filler. I really liked the way Eva Ibbotson made a whole different world, but it still felt like that world might actually be there. In Island of the Aunts, she shows how important it is to conserve nature and it's wonders. She was able to give that message without being depressing, like other books sometimes are.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
British author Eva Ibbotson has gained a reputation for charming, funny light fantasy, and her popularity has only grown with the rise of books like "Harry Potter." This slipcased three-pack is a fun collection of Ibbotson's most popular titles: "The Secret of Platform 13," "Which Witch?" and "Island of the Aunts."

"The Secret of Platform 13" is that it has a secret doorway into a magical land -- and one day, the young Prince's nannies accidently lost him to a greedy woman who wanted a baby of her own. Many years later, a rescue squad sets out to bring back the young prince -- but can this rude, gluttonous, nasty boy be their long-lost prince? Or do they have the wrong boy?

"The Island of the Aunts" gives a new spin to "hidden" magical creature -- old ladies Etta, Coral and Myrtle live on an otherwise deserted island, caring for a group of magical creatures, including a selkie, mermaids, and a kraken. But the aunts are getting old, and so they decide that they'll get some children to help them care for the magical creatures. The problem is, they have to kidnap them...

In "Which Witch," wizard Arriman the Awful has to get married so he can produce a wizardly heir. The problem is, he has to marry a witch -- and the thought of marrying a repulsive crone makes his skin crawl. A contest is held to see who will be Arriman's wife, and poor white witch Belladonna thinks that her sweetness-and-light spells don't stand a chance. Can she manage something really nasty for the contest?

Sure, "Harry Potter" may be more popular, but Ibbotson's ogres, wizards, mermaids and plucky preteen boys were there first. These three books are probably among Ibbotson's best, although admittedly I have not read every single novel she's written.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Once you pass by these kinds of books, you might think to yourself that you would never try to read them until you had absolutely nothing left to do. That was the same for me. I sat one day staring at my shelf of books, and decided that I would read it, but if I thought the first page would be pure torture, I would just drop it. Five minutes later, I sat with my eyes glued to the book, laughing at paragraphs with clusters of witty humor. It seemed like I was tumbling through a dimension where common sense hailed magic, and where good always taught a lesson to evil. Don't worry; you'll see Eva Ibbotson's stories unfold right before your own eyes once you experience this book.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I reviewed this book earlier, but I just reread it so I had to review it again.
1. This book looks impressing, but its really just because there are three books inside it. The pages are also thick, so its really not that bad.
2. You should get this book because it is very fresh and refreshing. It seems like you get more out of the book because there are three stories, so there are three plots, three expositions, three rising actions, three climaxes, and three resolutions.
3.Eva Ibbotson uses creative plots to get your attention. I was very surprised at the plots of the stories, but it was a pleasant surprise.
4. You REALLY should GET this BOOK!!!!!!!!
I DEFINETELY recommend this book to you!!!!!!!!!!
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