Thursday, November 6, 2008

Curse in Reverse by Tom Coppinger

Stars: ****1/2
Accuracy: *

Synopsis: Agnezza the witch wanders through the small hamlet of Humburg, looking for some shelter and a bite to eat. Selfish Mrs. Raff refuses her, and is given the Curse of the Silent Night. Rude Mr. Fooss rejects her, and is put under The Curse of the One-eyed Jack. When childless Mr. and Mrs. Tretter recieve her with open arms, they are chagrined when, upon their departure, she lays a Curse of the One-Armed Man upon them. Why did she do that? Their alarm grows as they see the curses of their neighbors come to unfortunate and surprising fruition. Little do they know that Agnezza has another trick up her sleeve when it comes to rewarding kindness! A funny folktale that's formalistically flawless, peppered perfectly with Zimmer's zany cross-hatched line drawings. Share this charmer anytime of year, and you'll have to decide for yourself if repeated readings are a curse…or a curse in reverse!

Review: I really liked this book. Her curses are funny in that they don't materialize the way you think they are going to, especially the curse in reverse. In fact even as an adult I couldn't guess what would happen. I don't want to spoil it for you but it was a good story.

Accuracy: Very little accuracy here. The witch is an old ugly woman wearing rags and she just curses people with abandon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Witch's Face: A Mexican Tale adapted by Eric A. Kimmel

Stars: ***

Accuracy: *

Synopsis: One night, while riding to Mexico City, Don Aurelio stops at a house owned by three strange women. The youngest and most beautiful warns him that "All is not as it seems." Don Aurelio soon discovers that she and her companions are witches. Each night, they put on a pair of straw wings, remove their human faces, and fly into the dark night. Don Aurelio falls in love with the youngest woman and tries to break the spell that holds her as a witch. In a tragic twist of fate, Don Aurelio learns that misfortune can occur when a human being falls in love with an immortal being.

Review: This is a picture book designed for ages 6 and up. It's a very interesting story with a good moral but is not a happy story and not for the easily frightened. I don't think I'd have my kids read it unless we were studying Mexico and their idea about witches.

Accuracy: If you know anything about witches, the synopsis should give you a clue as to why it's a one star. In fact, it should really be zero stars. In this book, witches fly with wings made of straw, have removable faces, are immortal, eat lizards and such and kill people.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Witch Twins and the Ghost of Glenn Bly by Adele Griffin

Stars: ****1/2

Accuracy: ***

Synopsis: Claire and Luna are thrilled to visit an ancient castle in Scotland with their five-star-witch grandmother. But this is no vacation. These witches are on a mission: to rid Glenn Bly of the terrifying ghost that haunts it....

Review: Another good book about the witch twins. This is actually the fourth book. I need to go back and read number 2 and 3. The series is perfect for tween girls, the writing style is perfect for them. I love the phrases used by the girls, always different. Such as Haggis and Hailstones and Ruins and Revenants! They also say love-love-love and hate-hate-hate all the time.

Accuracy: Witches can see Ghosts even though others can't. They can teleport, cause storms and do other manipulation spells. The witches get star classifications after passing tests that allow them to perform certain spells.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Sabrina The Teenage Witch #3: Good Switch, Bad Switch

Stars: ***

Accuracy: *

Synopsis: Sabrina's got spellfluenza, a nasty little witch virus. Every time she sneezes her powers pop out of her and into the next person. Another sneeze and they're back again - whew! It's not bad at first - Sabrina only sneezes in pairs. But then Libby Chessler gets in the way of a solitary achoo and... uh-oh. It doesn't take Libby long to figure out she's picked up some powerful magic. Now there's just one thing she wants...more! After all, world domination isn't out of the question! Sabrina's challenge is clear: Follow Libby on her search for bigger and better powers, and stop her. But can she do it as a mere mortal?

Review: A cute plot, it's interesting to see what Libby does with her powers. It shows that although she can be shallow and incredibly rude, she's not stupid. The way Sabrina is diagnosed is funny too.

Accuracy: See my review of the Sabrina The Teenage Witch TV show for more.

Sabrina The Teenage Witch #2: Showdown at the Mall by Diana G. Gallagher

Stars: ***
Accuracy: *

Synopsis: Sabrina is determined to make it on mortal terms in the Teen Work Weekend project at the mall... even if she does use a little magic to land a job at the Too Chic Boutique. But Libby and her friends, Jo and Cici, are out to make her look like a fool and suddenly her magic isn't working! Sabrina soon learns the reason: her new found cousin Tanya, a full witch who swears she'll prove that her magic is stronger than Sabrina's. Even if it means threatening Sabrina's job and casting a spell over Harvey, too. But every time Sabrina tries to strike back, her spells boomerang and she's in worse shape than before. Her aunts say she must learn how to protect herself. This time she's on her own.

Review: I liked this one a bit better than the first. Although it's the second in the series, it does not take place directly after the first but a few months later. I couldn't guess what would happen next which makes a book good for me. I hate knowing what would happen. I could even feel myself getting frustrated when Sabrina was. This to me means the writing was done well.

Accuracy: See my review of the Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV show for more.

Sabrina: The Teenage Witch by David Cody Weiss and Bobbi JG Weiss

Based on Characters appearing in Archie Comics. Created by Nell Scovell. Developed for TV by Jonathon Schmock.

Stars: ***
Accuracy: *

Synopsis: Sabrina's the new girl in town and she's already made enemies. Jenny wants to be friends, but Libby, the most popular girl in school, has put the hex on Sabrina. And Libby's friends won't give her the time of day. Thank heavens for Harvey! He's really special. And he seems to think Sabrina is, too. It's almost enough to convince Sabrina that everything will be OK. Then her aunts tell her the terrible truth - she's a witch! There's no doubt about it when she wishes dead frogs back to life in biology lab! But not even her newfound powers can help her when Libby asks Harvey to the dance - and he says Yes! What's a witch to do?

Review: This is the first book in the series and as mentioned above, is the story of how she found out she was a witch. The book was pretty good, it was funny when she keeps inadvertantly using her new powers since she hasn't totally figure them out yet. She gets in lots of trouble and lucky for her, her aunts know what to do. I could so indentify with Sabrina when she is dealing with Libby. I had problems with the popular girls too.

Accuracy: See my review of the Sabrina: The Teenage Witch Tv show.

TV: Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Stars: ***
Accuracy: *

Synopsis: Sabrina is sixteen when she learns that she's a real witch. She lives with her aunts Zelda and Hilda. Her dad is in the foreign service and his mom is on an archaeological dig in Peru. As a witch she has quite a lot of powers but she is still getting used to them and also learning what she can't do and when she shouldn't use her powers. All this and trying to lead a normal teenage girl's life! Oh and she has a talking cat!

Review: This show is pretty funny and it's nice to pretend that you have her kind of power. To have the dishes do themselves with a point of your finger or to change your clothes just as fast. I did lose interest after a season or two though because it seemed like the same things kept happening. The storyline didn't leave much room for new plots.

Accuracy: The only thing that is similar is that some witches do spells and that some witches have a book with magic info/spells in it. Real witches can't just point a finger and make something happen (I wish!) They can't travel to another realm through a closet shortcut or create a date with man-dough. Although some real witches follow a rede/creed or other set of rules, there is no Witches Council that oversees all witches like there is in the book. So as far as accuracy goes, this book couldn't really be furthur.