A WITCH’S CHARM
Funny how you own some paperbooks at home and never think of writing a review for them, although you read them over and over again with enthusiasm. The Winnie the Witch series is one of them.
Winnie Flies Again was one of my son’s favourite stories when he was little, and now it is one of my daughter’s favourites as well. As a teacher of English, I often tell this story to my little preschoolers or younger primary school learners, and they always find Winnie funny and charming. The illustrations are so quirky and adorable, and they blend in with the story just perfectly; the partnership between the story author and the illustrator is really admirable.
In this particular story, Winnie the Witch and her grumpy, yet loyal cat Wilbur go off flying, but due to Winnie’s poor eyesight, the two encounter numerous problems long the way. Their misfortune is eventually solved when Winnie gets her glasses, because not everything can be solved by magic. The story is fun and funny, but also very educational, because children fall in love with Winnie and, should the need arise for them to wear glasses, it will not pose a problem. If Winnie can do it, so can they. It also lets children see why some of their friends need to wear glasses, even though the moral is never obtrusively emphasized, nor does it feel like preaching. I am a proud owner of the edition for learners of English, which also includes activities by K. Harper, which offer every teacher great opportunity to work with this picture book on more levels than one. Not to mention how well the storyline lends itself to vocabulary extension on the topic of vehicles and verbs. There is a lovely fluency in the text, easily readable and acted out for and by children, with enough repetitive phrases for effective language acquisition, yet never losing the native language flow and feel. There is absolutely no need to worry about certain children fearing this witch – Winnie is just your friendly, neighbourhood elderly lady with a black cat and silly habits;)!
Winnie the Witch will definitely remain one of our favourites, along with all other books in the series. I recommend it to parents, grandparents and teachers! Learning and reading can really be fun!
Winnie Flies Again is available on Amazon.