Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage by Kaye Umansky, illustrated by Johanna Wright
Clover is a sensible girl who isn’t bothered by being a housekeeper for a witch. In fact, now Clover doesn’t have to tidy up after her many younger siblings at home and can have a bedroom all her own. Tidying the witch’s cottage, cooking, cleaning and running errands is all very normal and domestic, but it can’t be that simple when magic is involved. Clover meets Wilf, an exceedingly clumsy boy, who always seems to be in the middle of some sort of trouble. But it takes a magic potion, a wicked witch, an invisible flying horse, and a lot more to really cause mischief and strife!
This book is funny and fast-paced. The pace is a romp through a surprises, cunning plans, and twists. Urmansky has written a book filled with magic that is not sentimental at all and happily pokes fun at the entire genre. Clover is a wonderful and unexpected heroine in all of her quiet and clean glory. Wilf is a great foil for her as he pratfalls around the book, causing confusion wherever he goes. This book is not subtle. It is vaudeville comedy wrapped in fairy tale paper.
This would make a grand read-aloud for a 2nd or 3rd grade classroom where the broad comedy will play extremely well. Appropriate for ages 7-11.
Reviewed from library copy.