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Westley and the Witches (Other Side of Real) Paperback – February 19, 2014
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Although I have more to say about Westley and the Witches, I can begin by summarizing the book in a single word: charming. The plot is suspenseful, exciting, and fun. The excellent illustrations by Laura Kitching add to the enjoyment of the book.
Young Westley Prince awakes one morning to learn that his even younger sister, Gemma, has disappeared. What is a Prince to do other than summon his fairy godmother and embark on a search for Gemma?
The "Tales From the Other Side of Real" are intended for middle grade readers, but I don't see why parents couldn't read them to younger children who are old enough to listen to the story. I also don't see why parents can't sneak the books out of their children's rooms and read them after their little darlings have gone to sleep or are away at school.
Call me weird, and many have before you, but I find the first chapter of the book amusing. It's called "Westley Really Hates Baseball" (oh, boy, do I know how you feel, Westley). As Westley warms the bench, he sees that "Terry Hughes––the scruffy-but-very-fast outfielder––looked a lot greener than he did thirty seconds ago." Instead of catching the ball that heads in his direction, Terry runs toward the dugout, makes a sharp turn, and "approximately eighteen inches away from the port-a-potty's blue plastic door, Terry Hughes lost his breakfast."
How can you not like a book that begins with a barfing kid? Especially because when I was a child ever-so-many years ago, I hated playing baseball or any other sport as much as Westley does.
Westley and the Witches earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval for the vomit alone.