The Witches

The Witches

by Roald Dahl

illustrated by Quentin Blake

London: Jonathan Cape, 1983

208 pp. – 22 chapters

Age: 6 +

Interests: witches, magic, mice, adventure

Witches are real, and they are plotting to wipe out children everywhere. A young boy, raised to be wary of witches by his Norwegian grandmother, stumbles across a convention of witches in an English seaside resort town. He and his courageous grandma resolve to stop their fiendish plan, even after the witches enact some horrible magic spell on him…

Not for the faint of heart! This is a ghoulish delight, from the detailed descriptions of how to spot witches among us (they wear wigs and gloves, and their spit is blue), to the horrid fates of the children who cross their path. The hero himself doesn’t entirely escape their clutches, as he is turned into a mouse midway through the book, but his tiny size only aids in his foiling the witches’ plans. The cigar-smoking witch-fighting grandma is a delightful character as well.

As always, Roald Dahl doesn’t back off any of the details, be they gruesome or just gross. It’s quite a funny book, as long as your child loves Hallowe’eny humour. Definitely not for the squeamish, or those prone to nightmares. Or anyone with eccentric aunts who wear wigs and gloves.

Could be read by 9-12 year olds, or read aloud to children as young as about 6.


(This title on amazon.)


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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.
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