“Once upon a time there was a little witch who was only a hundred and twenty-seven years old”—that’s how the story of the little witch and her talking raven Abraxas begins, and though one hundred and twenty-seven isn’t at all old for a witch, Little Witch already has a big problem. Every year, on Walpurgis Night, all the witches of the land meet to dance on Brocken Mountain. Little Witch is still too little to be invited, but this year she decided to sneak in anyway—and got caught by her evil aunt Rumpumpel! Little Witch is in disgrace. Her broomstick has been burned. She’s been made to walk home. She’s been told that she has a year to pull off some seriously good witchcraft if she wants to be invited to Walpurgis Night ever. And then there’s an even bigger problem: What after all does it mean to be a good witch? One way or another, by the end of the story, Little Witch will have proved herself to be the biggest and best witch of all.
About the Author
Ofried Preussler (1923–2013) was born into a family of teachers in Reichenberg, Czechoslovakia, and as a boy loved listening to the folktales of the region. Drafted into the army during World War II, Preussler was captured in 1944 and spent the next five years as a prisoner of war in the Tatar Republic. After his release, he moved to Bavaria and became a primary--school teacher and principal, supplementing his income by working as a reporter for a local newspaper and by writing scripts for children’s radio. One of the most popular authors for children in Germany, Preussler was twice awarded the German Children’s Book Prize. His many books have been translated into fifty-five languages and have sold over fifty million copies. New York Review Books also publishes Preussler’sKrabat & the Sorcerer’s Mill and The Little Water Sprite and will publish The Robber Hotzenplotz in 2016.
Anthea Bell is a translator from the German, French, and Danish, and the winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize, and, three times over, the Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation. She has translated Asterix, Hans Christian Andersen, Cornelia Funke, Kerstin Gier, W.G. Sebald, Sigmund Freud, and several novels by Otfried Preussler.
Winne Gebhardt-Gayler (1929–2014) was a German illustrator who was a frequent collaborator with Otfried Preussler.