– Short Review –
As Halloween approaches and children begin to be surrounded by all things dark and mythical that go bump in the night, why not get them reading this little gem from Catnip Books – The Littlest Witch by Bianca Pitzorno is a delightful little tale that warms the heart.
– Long Review –
Bianca Pitzorno is a prolific writer, I’ve seen her name floating around for many years and I have to say that I have never actually read one of her books before…that is until now! The Littlest Witch is a fun book which will have many middle graders laughing along to the story, characters and the complicated issues that befall our main protagonist the evil Alfonso Terrible.
Alfonso Terrible is left a large sum of money by a dead relative – but the only way for Alfonso to get his grubby mitts on the cash is to marry a witch. His dead relative Great-Uncle Sempronio made this the only stipulation to his will and if completed Alfonso would be entitled to his whole fortune.
Pitzorno creates a meandering tale which follows Alfonso on his quest to uncover, track-down, woo and marry a witch all before the deadline that has been handed to him. If he fails to do it he will miss out his Great-Uncle Sempronio’s fortune.
Although the story is good and it’s an enjoyable read, I found the cast of characters in this book quite confusing – on many occasions. There is a family of seven sisters, mother, father, cat, parrot, nanny and many other characters that flit in and out of the book – and in my personal opinion none of these are explored in any great depth, meaning that for me many were forgettable and I struggled to understand who was who. Which I feel in someway may also confuse younger readers (it is a small book so there isn’t much space to develop so many characters) – I also found that the names are all very similar too..which also caused me some confusion at various points in the book.
Alfonso was also a most unattractive young man, with pimples all over his face, a weak chin, and crooked teeth that were turning green because they hadn’t been brushed for so long. His greasy hair was full of dandruff, his ears were filthy and there was a black line around the collar of his shirt.
Having said this, there are many things for young minds to enjoy about The Littlest Witch and what with it being Halloween why not treat your children to a fab little book – with many a laugh out loud moment and some gross moments too…because who doesn’t love a bit of grossness.
The Littlest Witch is published by Catnip Books and is available here.
Bianca Pitzorno is an Italian writer best known for her books for children and young adults. She is considered one of Italy’s most important authors in that field
Reviewed by Ross Jeffery
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