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Winnie and Wilbur
Winnie the Witch - Valerie Thomas
Member Name: juicy_lucy
Winnie the Witch - Valerie Thomas
Advantages: Detailed illustrations
A long standing favourite. I bought my copy way back in 1991, when first born was two, and still read it now, nearly 14 years later, to little miss.
"Winnie the witch lived in a black house in the forest"
So starts the story and we learn that in Winnie's house, everything was black…strangely enough, though, on the first double page picture, everything is indeed black, but Winnie's clothes are purple and blue.
However, Winnie's cat,Wilbur, was black "And that is how the trouble began…"
If Wilbur sat in a chair with his eyes open, Winnie could see him, but if he was asleep in a black chair, of course, she could not see him, and sat on him! Similarly, if he fell asleep on the carpet, Winnie tripped over him.
After a nasty fall, Winnie decides to remedy the situation, and casts a spell on Wilbur. ABRACADABRA!! He becomes a green cat, and Winnie could see him wherever he was. However, and this was Wilbur's mistake, he lay on the bed, and of course, he was not allowed on the bed, so he got thrown outside. Could he be seen? In the long grass, of course not, and Winnie tripped right over him.
Poor Wilbur, "Winnie was furious" She waved her magic wand and Wilbur became a multi coloured cat. This time, Winnie could see him wherever he was, but Wilbur looked ridiculous and even the birds laughed at him. He was miserable and stayed up the tree day and night.
This sets Winnie into a quandary because she loved Wilbur and hated for him to be unhappy. What could she do?
The clever witch waved her magic wand and made Wilbur black again, then waved her wand again, and ABRACADABRA, her whole house and everything in it became multi coloured.
Result! Winnie could see her black cat wherever he sat in the multi coloured house.
The illustrations definitely appeal to children. They are bright and cheerful and the expressions on Wilbur's face are excellent. When he is miserable, he really does look miserable.
Winnie is a "proper" witch with her black lips, wispy black hair and witch hat.
The detail in the pictures are something to look out for. Children take great delight in spotting the frog just disappearing round the corner and the snake wrapped around the umbrella stand, as well as the lizards crawling around the shelves.
The house is illustrated so that it does look spooky and is just as a witch's house should be, with large pictures and cobwebs.
Most of the illustrations are large double page spread pictures with enough detail to expand the text and encourage children to use their imaginations.
**PUBLISHER AND OTHER INFORMATION**
My copy cost £2.95 but check it out on amazon for real bargains
Published by: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0-19 272197
**OTHER BOOKS ILLUSTRATED BY KORKY PAUL**
If you have the book and enjoyed the illustrations, have a look for these books…
Call Me Sam
The Cat That Scratched
The Dog That Dug
The Duck That Had No Luck
The Wonky Donkey
Has a lot of information on all of the books he has illustrated- I didn't know there were so many.
Plus, if you are interested, there is information on the author.
The book is jam packed with amusing details and visual jokes. Children love to "spy" extra bits of detail and the story flows along with the illustrations. The pictures of the house when it is black are in direct contrast to the house it becomes at the end and very young children can talk about the colours as the story is read to them.
Winnie is a lovable witch and children are keen to think of ways to help Wilbur when Winnie realizes she has made him sad.
Although the book was first published in 1987, the style of the writing and the illustrations have ensured that it has not become dated and I have read this on many many occasions to children from Nursery to about Year 4. Depending on the age of the child(ren) there is something to be "got out" of it. This is definitely not a book to be confined to a very small age range…read it and enjoy the expressions on the characters faces and the excellent illustrations. Little miss always finds the characters faces hilarious when Winnie sits on Wilbur or trips over him, and children tend to get a bit gleeful when "there is going to be trouble now"
I would highly recommend it, and if you enjoy it, it's worth looking at the other Winnie the Witch books, all illustrated and written to appeal to children's imaginations and sense of fun.
Thanks for reading
Summary: Great story book with detailed illustrations