From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-One windy day, three siblings visit the park and, in an attempt to be helpful, unintentionally create an adventure for a few innocent bystanders. Apparently still witches-in-training, the children know only half-magic. "Look out," the pigeons and squirrels warn, for they all know that this means trouble. The Eldest and the Middle One appear quite capable of changing people and animals into other creatures, but haven't learned as yet how to change them back to their original form. The Little One saves the day by thinking of the best solution to the problem; she yells for "MOMMY!" Various elements of fairy tales are presented here, including, a frog, a princess, footmen, a golden coach, and a palace. Entertaining illustrations depict three amiable children-made up of mostly round heads with legs-accompanied by spiders, bats, a frog, a mouse, and insects trailing along behind like well-behaved pets. The pictures show each three-step transformation that the unfortunate spells produce and, later, the witch's expert reversals. Small details in the drawings add to the humor, such as each child sporting a beauty mark (or perhaps it's a wart), just like mother's. An entertaining romp, sure to please.
Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreS-Gr. 2. With bats circling above them and a parade of snails and bugs following behind, the witch's three children go for a stroll by the pond where little Gemma is sailing her toy boat. When the wind blows over the boat, the witch's oldest child comes to her rescue in an unexpected way: he changes Gemma into a frog, so she can retrieve her toy. Gemma thinks this is great fun until she discovers that he doesn't know how to change her back. The middle child tries to help by changing the ice-cream lady into a princess, whose kiss turns the frog into a handsome prince. But Gemma doesn't want to be a prince any more than a frog. It's up to the youngest child to set things right, which she does in a wonderfully child-appropriate way. Adding to the fun are Ayto's wild, cartoon illustrations, with plenty of silly action and exaggerated shapes and facial expressions. A nice change of pace from traditional fairy tales. Lauren Peterson
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