The Little Green Witch

( 3 )


The little green witch has a problem: her lazy monster friends just won't help her make a horrible pumpkin pie. Not ghost, nor bat, nor gremlin.

Barbara McGrath's feisty retelling of "The Little Red Hen," with Martha Alexander's charming illustrations, is the perfect choice for Halloween fun.

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The little green witch has a problem: her lazy monster friends just won't help her make a horrible pumpkin pie. Not ghost, nor bat, nor gremlin.

Barbara McGrath's feisty retelling of "The Little Red Hen," with Martha Alexander's charming illustrations, is the perfect choice for Halloween fun.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Amie Rose Rotruck
The little green witch lives in a hollow tree with a ghost, a bat, and a gremlin. She does all the unhousework while her friends do nothing to help. When the little green witch finds pumpkin seeds, she takes care of planting them, watering them, and picking the pumpkins. She then carves them and bakes them into a pie, all without help. When it comes time to eat the pie, however, the ghost, bat, and gremlin all want to help. The little green witch has other plans, though. This charming story is made all the more delicious by the little green witch doing what most people want to do in such a situation, rather than what they should do. Martha Alexander's illustrations are simply wonderful, from the vivid colors of the pumpkin patch to her detail of the interior of a hollow tree.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Halloween's answer to "The Little Red Hen." While her hollow-tree housemates (a ghost, a bat, and a gremlin) laze around, the little witch does all the "unhousework"-hanging the cobwebs, dirtying the laundry, etc. When she finds some pumpkin seeds and plants them, she discovers that her friends are stubbornly unhelpful at every stage. While the little green witch's question is always, "`Who will help me-,'" the answers are divertingly varied: "`Can't hear you,' said the bat." "`Water, schmater,' grouched the gremlin." As readers will expect, when the witch takes her pumpkin pie out of the oven, everyone is willing to help her eat it. Equally predictable is her refusal to share it. But she has an extra comeuppance up her ragged sleeve, one that will make readers laugh out loud. McGrath has done a fine job of meeting expectations while introducing surprises at every turn. Her gentle humor is amplified by Alexander's sweet and funny watercolor-pastel illustrations. Details like a Mickey Mouse cup on the shelf, a wood crate labeled "Apples," and a cookie jar shaped like a little red hen can be discovered in successive readings. Children will enjoy this book before, during, and after Halloween.-Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Alexander's soft-textured, colored-pencil illustrations convey a sweetness decidedly at odds with the verbal tone of this "Little Red Hen" remake. One day Little Green Witch finds some pumpkin seeds in the garden's carefully tended muck. She gets no help from the ghost, gremlin and bat with whom she shares a hollow tree, either in doing the "unhousework," or in growing the pumpkins and carving the resultant jack-o'-lanterns. She not only declines to share her well-burnt pumpkin-gloop pie at the end, but she turns all three of her lazy housemates into little red hens. Clad in a conical hat, ragged shift and pink panties, the childlike witch has a ready smile that looks friendly rather than malicious, even in the closing scene, and the illustrator's efforts to uglify the house and garden only make them look comfortably inviting. As Barry Downard's Little Red Hen (2004), Ann Whitford Paul's Ma-ana, Iguana (2004) and many other examples attest, the tale lends itself to offbeat riffs-but here the dissonance gets in the way of the humor. (Picture book/folktale. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580890427
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,482,027
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.53 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Barbieri McGrath was a nursery school teacher before she dedicated herself to writing children's books full time. She is the author of THE LITTLE RED ELF, THE LITTLE GREEN WITCH, and many bestselling math concept books. Barbara lives in Natick, Massachussetts.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

    Great Halloween read!

    My four year old grandson loved this book. It was his favorite of the season. Would highly recommend for this age group.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    Cute twist

    Great twist on the Little Red Hen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2005


    The little green witch is one of the most people friendly crones to be found. Illustrator Martha Alexander portrays her as a bit of a pixie (even though she is bright green and definitely wants her own way). Having things her way can be difficult as she lives in a hollow tree with a ghost, a bat, and a gremlin. These three also have minds of their own. About all the ghost wants to do is float above a large steaming black pot, while the bat likes to spend his time hanging in the broom closet. The gremlin is usually found snoozing in the dark, damp under the sink cupboard. Thus, little green witch is left to do all of the 'unhousework.' The poor thing worked herself into a frenzy spreading soot, hanging cobwebs, and dirtied laundry. One day she found some pumpkin seeds and asked her tree mates to help her plant them. Do you think any of that lazy trio would lift a hand (as if ghosts had one)? Well, the little green witch planted the seeds all by herself and it wasn't too long before the pumpkins were fat, ripe, and ready. Once again, she asked for help in picking them. Same story - not a one of the trio would come to her aid. Now, the little green witch didn't take this lack of community spirit lying down. Youngsters will laugh at what she's finally driven to do. Delightful illustrations with a thoroughly enjoyable text.

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