My kids just love Valerie Thomas’ Winnie the Witch stories. These are certainly some of the very best books for kids that we have at home and we read them time and time again. Winnie is a kindhearted but misguided witch whose
Winnie is a kindhearted but misguided witch whose well-intentioned deeds usually go wrong. She frequently gets herself into a pickle and needs the help of her much more clever pet, Wilbur the cat, to put things right. Though poor Wilbur is often the victim when Winnie’s noble attempts to do something good go hilariously awry.
The books have very well written stories with interesting and very different plots and there are some excellent turns of phrase which make my children giggle with laughter, particularly when something goes wrong and Winnie uses her funny expletives such as ‘gnats knickers’ and ‘soggy babies bottoms’. Some of her foods are also squirmingly disgusting too.
What brings these books to life is not just the amazing stories but also the highly imaginative illustrations by Korky Paul. There are highly detailed, colour illustrations all the way through that kids just love to look at. For those of you still reading to your kids, these will give them lots of things to focus on whilst you read the story to them. You can also play the Korky Paul hunting game. In many of the pictures, Korky Paul incorporates his name as part of the picture, such as writing it in stars, my children love to spot them. There are also lots of other spotting things you can do – such as hunt for Santa in the Winnie in Winter story.
The particular book pictured here is a fantastic collection of six of Winnie and Wilbur’s crazy adventures – a great way to introduce your kids to the series. The stories allow you to meet Winnie in her black house, take a wild and haphazard ride on Winnie’s broomstick, watch her turn Winter into Summer only to regret it and see the disasters which happen when Winnie’s wand stops working, before finding out how a computer can cause utter chaos and spending time with them at the at the seaside.
If you finish these, there are also lots of other Winnie the Witch books to explore including a follow-up series written by Laura Owen, which is just as funny and well written but come in a smaller paperback size and with black and white illustrations – aimed more at slightly older readers.
Overall, we love these books and have spent many a bedtime read enjoying Winnie and Wilbur. We think you find them some of the best kids’ books around. But don’t just buy a single story to start with, your kids will be begging you for the next one before you can say ‘blazing bloomers!’
All opinions in this review are our own, however, we may be compensated should you make a purchase through the links provided.