Alice Nizzy Nazzy, the Witch of Santa Fe

Alice Nizzy Nazzy, the Witch of Santa Fe

by Tony Johnston, Tomie dePaola
     
 

Manuela has lost her sheep, and their tracks lead right to Alice Nizzy Nazzy's fence. But Alice is so mean and so ugly that people say she's a witch who likes to eat children! Will Manuela have to face the beady-eyed old woman? "Johnston removes Baba Yaga, aka Alice Nizzy Nazzy, from the Russian forest and places her in a roadrunner-footed, adobe hut in the desert…  See more details below

Overview

Manuela has lost her sheep, and their tracks lead right to Alice Nizzy Nazzy's fence. But Alice is so mean and so ugly that people say she's a witch who likes to eat children! Will Manuela have to face the beady-eyed old woman? "Johnston removes Baba Yaga, aka Alice Nizzy Nazzy, from the Russian forest and places her in a roadrunner-footed, adobe hut in the desert near Santa Fe.... Engaging." -- School Library Journal "Tomie dePaola has wonderful fun with Johnston's breezy text, serving up a feast of laugh-out-loud images. 'Alice Nizzy Nazzy'is some kind of snazzy!" -- Los Angeles Times Book Review

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Together again, Johnston and dePaola team up to transport Baba Yaga, one of Russia's great folklore figures, to the American Southwest. Incarnated here as Alice Nizzy Nazzy, the child-eating witch lives in an adobe hut perched on 'skinny roadrunner feet' and surrounded by a fence of prickly pear cactus. When Manuela wanders by in search of her lost sheep, she ends up in Alice's soup caldron. But quick thinking and personal merit ('Good children taste so sour!') save the day, the witch is routed, and sheep and shepherdess arrive home intact. Johnston's frothy tale is handsomely set off by dePaola's exuberant artwork, aglow with the colors of a Santa Fe sunset. DePaola clearly takes great glee in creating a witch of magnificent proportions: with her jalapeno-crowned coiffure, beady red eyes, scarlet fingernails, belt of silver conchos, and a horned lizard draped around her neck like a scarf, Alice Nizzy Nazzy is set to take her place in wicked-witch history.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Together again, Johnston and dePaola team up to transport Baba Yaga, one of Russia's great folklore figures, to the American Southwest. Incarnated here as Alice Nizzy Nazzy, the child-eating witch lives in an adobe hut perched on "skinny roadrunner feet" and surrounded by a fence of prickly pear cactus. When Manuela wanders by in search of her lost sheep, she ends up in Alice's soup caldron. But quick thinking and personal merit ("Good children taste so sour!") save the day, the witch is routed, and sheep and shepherdess arrive home intact. Johnston's frothy tale is handsomely set off by dePaola's exuberant artwork, aglow with the colors of a Santa Fe sunset. DePaola clearly takes great glee in creating a witch of magnificent proportions: with her jalapeno-crowned coiffure, beady red eyes, scarlet fingernails, belt of silver conchos, and a horned lizard draped around her neck like a scarf, Alice Nizzy Nazzy is set to take her place in wicked-witch history. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
Parents warn their children to stay away from Alice Nizzy Nazzy, who lives in an adobe house with roadrunner feet and a prickly pear fence. Manuela stumbles upon the witch's house while searching for her lost sheep. Alice Nizzy Nazzy promptly pops her into a pot. Will Manuela escape before becoming the witch's lunch? The author and illustrator have skillfully moved the Baba Yaga story from Russia to the American Southwest. The illustrations cast the witch as ugly and unpleasant, but not too terrifying for youngsters. Manuela remains serene throughout.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Johnston removes Baba Yaga, aka Alice Nizzy Nazzy, from the Russian forest and places her in a roadrunner-footed, adobe hut in the desert near Santa Fe. Unlucky little Manuela happens upon the sinister scene while searching for her lost sheep. The witch puts her in the cookpot, Manuela tries to make a deal that falls through, but her ``goodness'' saves her: only naughty children are tasty to witches. Alice flies off in search of a better meal and Manuela happily takes her sheep home. dePaola's pictures are more engaging than ever. He does wonderful things with colors in the Southwestern landscape. His mountains look like ice-cream confections littered with carnival confetti, and he has fun with the little artistic conceit of the first-page image of Frida Kahlo. In spite of the art, the story doesn't quite come off. In traditional tales, the protagonist escapes from the witch's snare through virtuous acts. And in the ``Baba Yaga'' tale, the heroine helps the gate, dog, etc., and in turn they help her to escape. Kindness brings reward. In this version, however, Manuela offers only flattery instead of good deeds to the witch's fence, house, and lizard/familiar, and they do not help her, even though they seem to like the flattery. The child does nothing to win release from her captor, to get back her sheep, or to deserve a good outcome, but she gets it anyway. This is too facile to be satisfying.-Ruth Semrau, formerly at Lovejoy School, Allen, TX
Ilene Cooper
Johnston moves the Russian Baba Yaga tale to the American Southwest, and something gets lost in the translation. This witch is named Alice Nizzy Nazzy, and she's pretty nasty, though not really scary in true Baba Yaga fashion. It's the misfortune of a little girl named Manuela to meet up with her when Manuela's sheep run into Alice Nizzy Nazzy's yard. Although several times it looks as if Manuela is about to become Alice's dinner, events twist and turn until, finally, Manuela is freed--she's such a good girl that she tastes bad. Johnston's telling has a nice cadence to it, but the plot rambles, and the ending falls flat. The artwork is a little rougher in both design and execution than dePaola's usual style, but his witch is a wild one and accounts for most of the story's visual excitement. Get this for larger collections or where the southwestern setting has local appeal.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780613104937
Publisher:
Topeka Bindery
Publication date:
09/28/1998
Product dimensions:
8.36(w) x 9.72(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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