Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Book Review: Wanda Witch and the Bullies

Written by:  Rose Impey
Illustrated by: Katharine McEwen
Published by: Cartwheel Books
Release Date: August 1, 2005
Ages: 4-8
Source: Bought.

Synopsis: When Wanda Witch arrives at school with Cat-a-Bogus, she gets picked on by Gobby-goblin and his mean brother! She turns their faces into sausages and cabbages, and they set their slimy, mean boggart cousins loose on her. But Wanda uses her very special powers to turn them all into boggart-fairies.

My kids have  a special basket by the fireplace where we put all of the current holiday books. With autumn leaves turning orange/yellow/red and Starbucks pouring my favorite drink, yes, that pumpkin spiced latte that signals "Fall is here" in my brain, my kids have placed all the Halloween/Autumn books in our special basket. Over the next few weeks, I thought I'd take a moment to review some of our favorites.

Wanda Witch and the Bullies is a Scholastic Level 3 Reader story and one that is unforunately out-of-print, however, the links above all have used copies for sale. Most of you know that October is National Bullying Prevention month and what better tale than this one for our youngest students.

Wanda wakes up with a tummy ache and her mom is too busy with the new baby to drive her to school so much to her embarassment her cat walks her to school. Once there, she's  tripped by Gobby and bullied by Gobby's brother. After school, Gobby's goblin cousins start calling her names on her walk home. And then Wanda Witch gets the greatest idea of all.

I won't spoil her solution for you, but she does devise a sweet form of retaliation -- the kind that goblins will surely dislike. I think that this book is a solid read for the month of October. It teaches kids that they should listen to an adult's instructions and well, in the face of bullies, to use the right words and walk away. It doesn't teach them the proper bullying ettiquette (i.e. to report the incident to an adult), but this does open up dialogue for the parent/caretaker reading this with the child to remind them what they should do. For me, it's a good read for my first grader especially because she has her older brother and sister close by who inevitably chirp in with the "remember to also do this..." part.
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~