Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Clover Twig & the Magical Cottage by Kaye Umansky

Clover is a practical sort of girl. Her family needs more income. Her father's disabled and the family has many mouths to feed. In light of their situation, Clover applies to be the local witch's cleaning girl. The wages are good and as witches go, Mrs. Eckles is not so bad. Cover is content to keep the cottage and gardens tidy. Her contentment is soon complicated by Mrs. Eckles' sister's plot to steal the cottage. With help from unlikely sources (clumsy Wilf and witch's cat Neville), Clover must save the day.

What I thought: This was a good solid book. The story was original but at the same time familiar enough so that I wasn't put off by the fantastic bits. (I'm a low fantasy kind of girl.) I like that the characters aren't stereotypical. Mrs. Eckles is not your average witch just as Clover isn't your usual girl. The uneasy friendship between Clover and Wilf will likely increase the book's appeal. This is not a girl book or a boy book. It's a good book that many will enjoy. Recommended for fans of Michael Buckley's Sisters Grimm series. Will there be a sequel? I hope so.

(Illus. Johanna Wright. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2009)

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