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Children's LiteratureMagic intersects with the hilariously humdrum in this tale of a no-nonsense witch who, heading off to do some last-minute shopping at the ordinary neighborhood grocery store for refreshments to bring to the Ghastly Gala A-go-go ("with a 60s theme of course"), almost collides with the Channel 12 air traffic report helicopter and ends up trapped in the supermarket dumpster, where she's assisted by a little trick-or-treater dressed as a fairy princess. To thank Sarah for her kindness in sharing one of her glow-in-the dark Prom Night Barbie Band-Aids, the witch casts a careless spell that makes the girl's toy wand "a real magic wand—just for tonight." And so the deliciously predictable disaster begins to unfold, as Sarah has granted such typically childlike wishes as "I wish everyone had a dog," "I wish every day was Halloween," "I wish every day was Christmas," and "I wish people thought I was smart." Matters only get worse when the witch casts a reversal spell, making the opposite of each of Sarah's wishes come true. Things work out best, it turns out, when we muddle our way through life without any working magic wand at all. Throughout, the witch and her wisecracking broom keep up a chorus of consistently comic banter. Witch: "You can be replaced by a vacuum cleaner, you know." Broom: "You'd need a very long extension cord." One could not wish for a more cleverly constructed and satisfying story than this one. 2003, Holiday House, Ages 7 to 10.
— Claudia Mills