Gertie the Witch, by Valerie Thomas ill by Janet Wolf
‘Hee, hee, hee,’ cackled Gertie, as she turned the postman into a pig.
Gertie loved being a witch. She had so much fun.She thought that a pig trying to ride a bicycle looked very funny, and she always enjoyed a good laugh.
‘Oink, oink,’ said the postman. He fell off his bicycle and the letters spilled into a puddle.
‘Hee, hee, hee,’ cackled Gertie.
One of the letters was for her. She picked it up out of the puddle, wiped it on her dress and opened it.
‘Dear Gertie,’ she read.
‘Oink, oink,’ said the postman.
‘Do be quiet,’ said Gertie, ‘or I’ll turn you into a pork chop.’
The postman picked up the other letters with his mouth, stuffed them into his bag with his snout and rode away as fast as his little hind legs would go.
Gertie is not a very nice witch. She’s selfish and thoughtless. Only her sister, Susie, is worse. But where Gertie seems to get away with her pranks, Susie is always in trouble and needing help. But what about the postman pig? He’s gone home to his family. Understandably they preferred their husband/father as a man rather than a pig. Things get worse when the postman’s wife tries to get Gertie to reverse her spell. Now it’s up to twins Will and Annie. They’re a trifle more cautious than their impulsive mother and make their plans carefully. Gertie the Witch is sprinkled throughout with colour illustrations, and widely spaced text is designed for newly independent readers.
Gertie the Witch is one of four new novels for young readers from New Frontier Publishing. They are designed for young readers making the transition from fully illustrated texts to longer stories. ‘Gertie the Witch’ is from Valerie Thomas, well known for her wonderful ‘Winnie the Witch’ picture books. Main characters Will and Annie behave in more mature and thoughtful ways than most of the adults. The action trots along at a crackling pace, humour and puns abound. Recommended for early-mid primary readers.
Gertie the Witch, Valerie Thomas ill Janet Wolf New Frontier Publishing 2012 ISBN: 9781921928222
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author