Meredith, the Witch Who Wasn't

Overview

Meredith returns, and her magic spells are as unpredictable as ever. Meredith accidentally utters the spell for uninvited guests, and — whoosh! — a little sorcerer with an insatiable appetite flies in and plops himself down at her table.

"Hungry!" he screeches, and Meredith has her hands full first trying to feed him, and then trying to get rid of him. What follows is a battle of fantastically funny spells that lasts until lunchtime and teaches her to mind her words and watch ...

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Overview

Meredith returns, and her magic spells are as unpredictable as ever. Meredith accidentally utters the spell for uninvited guests, and — whoosh! — a little sorcerer with an insatiable appetite flies in and plops himself down at her table.

"Hungry!" he screeches, and Meredith has her hands full first trying to feed him, and then trying to get rid of him. What follows is a battle of fantastically funny spells that lasts until lunchtime and teaches her to mind her words and watch out for unexpected magic.

Meredith, who has trouble with her spells and would rather do things without magic, faces the possibility of failing the annual test for certification as a witch.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Written by an Austrian, illustrated by a German, and first published in Switzerland, this cheerful tale of a reluctant witch has a Grimm Brothers cast with an optimistic ending. Meredith fails in all her witchly endeavors, much preferring to do things from scratch, by hand rather than magic. A total flop at the annual witch gathering, she's drummed out of her profession and returns home in defeat. But wait(could this be a blessing in disguise? Youngsters should enjoy this perky paean to learning to do things the hard, long-lasting way.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2--Meredith the witch is a happy and contented person except for one thing--she doesn't like magic. She much prefers to make things from scratch. When the Annual Assessment of Witchly Powers in Magical Spells is announced, she knows she will be cast out of the witching society if she can't produce some workable spells. She tries desperately, but by October 31st her spells work no better. Her efforts are so lackluster that she loses her status as a witch. To her surprise, she enjoys being free of the obligation to study spells and throws herself into interesting projects of her own. When the oldest witch visits, she is so impressed by Meredith's handmade treehouse and homemade cake that she restores Meredith's witchly powers. This charming, upbeat story is perfectly complemented by full-page, full-color illustrations that are chock-full of humorous details. Although the other witches have scary faces, they are friendly and supportive of Meredith's efforts. The themes of self-reliance and finding satisfaction in independent achievement are woven into the story without being didactic. An enjoyable read all year round, although it would also be a suitable, non-scary addition to Halloween shelves.--Lisa Smith, Lindenhurst Memorial Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Meredith is a witch, but she avoids the usual witchy trappings and doesn't really like magic, so her spells suffer. When the head witch, Melusina Firebird, decertifies Meredith, the hapless witch knows she ought to be sad, but she's notshe's too busy with all of the things she can do with her time now that she doesn't have to study spells. "The only magic she used was a kiss on her thumb when she accidentally hit it with the hammer." When Melusina drops in for a visit, tasting the cake Meredith made from scratch and relaxing in the handmade tree house, she is so impressed she recertifies a protesting Meredith. " `Spells, bells,' Melusina Firebird scoffed. `Your magic is more powerful than mere enchantments.' " It's a point delivered with a light touch, ably crafted and colored in Unzner's exuberant paintings.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735811966
  • Publisher: North-South Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/1999
  • Edition description: 1 PBK ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.42 (w) x 11.27 (h) x 0.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothea Lachner has written for children's radio programs in Germany and Austria. She has written many books for North-South including Andrew's Angry Words and The Gift from Saint Nicholas.

As a child, Christa Unzner filled mountains of paper with her drawings. After an apprenticeship to a window decorator, she went on to study design. She has illustrated many children's books, including young people's retelling of William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet. She lives with her husband in Nicaragua.

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