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Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones
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Earwig and the Witch (edition 2012)

by Diana Wynne Jones

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1411085,024 (3.66)21
Member:nicole47
Title:Earwig and the Witch
Authors:Diana Wynne Jones
Info:Greenwillow Books (2012), Hardcover, 128 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones

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Short
but fun. ( )
  sprite | Jan 8, 2014 |
Ages 8-11.

Earwig is perfectly happy to remain at St. Morwald’s Home for Children. But one day, her uncanny ability to deter prospective foster-parents fails, and she goes home with the strangest couple: Bella Yaga, a “raggety, ribby” faced woman with terrible fashion sense, and a tall man who seems to have horns above his ears. At her new home, Earwig is instructed to grind rats bones and pick herbs for the cauldron, and soon determines that Bella Yaga is a witch. With the help of her new friend Thomas the cat, Earwig sets her mind to learning magic herself.

Children who love classic fairy tale takes on magic will enjoy the wonderful descriptions of disgusting spell ingredients and secret brewing processes. Despite her fantastic situation, Earwig is a relatable character in that she is a head-strong child responding to a situation where someone else is the boss. The witch's threats to give people worms and the brooding mandrake may frighten some young children, but the story is more whimsical than scary.

Zelinsky’s pen and ink illustrations capture the spunk and ingenuity of Earwig’s personality. His illustrations add great visual appeal as he depicts the fascinating details of the workshop and whirling bits of demons.

Fifteen lines of text per page with generous whitespace and simple sentence structure will assist readers transitioning from easy readers to more complex texts.

Earwig is clever, likes a challenge, and is determined to have her way. Readers will cheer on this formidable young witch. Recommended. ( )
  Rachel.Seltz | Dec 10, 2013 |
A light, fun read best used as a chaser in between more serious or longer books. Since this is designed for younger readers, it doesn't have the mind-bending twists of Jones' more complex novels ... if Wynne Jones were alive, I would wish for her to rewrite this for older readers and expand the whole story. And write many more, of course. *sigh* ( )
  bostonian71 | Jun 3, 2013 |
cute short story ( )
  librarydanielle | Apr 1, 2013 |
This is a hilarious tale of Earwig, a little girl dropped off at a orphanage with a note pinned to her saying "Got the other twelve witches all chasing me. I'll be back for her when I've shook them off. It may take years. Her name is Earwig." Though the orphanage had regular tours of potential foster parents going through, Earwig, who has "a very strong personality", managed to never be picked, on purpose. She liked her ability to get whatever she wanted there. However, a very strange couple (though only she seemed to be able to see HOW strange) took her home with them. The woman is a witch who just needs "an extra pair of hands", and the man is something else (made clear by the horns that are not quite hidden on his head). And so her adventure begins.

This reminds me, in a lot of ways (including a wild hairdo), of Pippi Longstocking, whom I loved greatly in my childhood. This updated version has magical tricks and treats and no small amount of humor. I wish this was to be a series, but alas, Jones passed away in 2011. Still this is an amazing treat, and I can see why Neil Gaiman says "I would like to declare Diann Wynne Jones an international treasure." ( )
  JackieBlem | Mar 14, 2012 |
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Book description
Everyone knows that orphanages are horrible places. But Earwig has a surprising amount of power over everyone else at St Morwald’s Home for Children, and loves it there. So the last thing she wants is to be sent to live with the very strange Bella Yaga…


Earwig was left at St Morwald's as a baby. Unlike the other children, she loves it there, mostly because she has the run of the place and seems to be able to persuade people to do as she wants. Then one day Earwig is chosen to live with a very strange couple: Bella Yaga, her new 'mother', is actually a horrible witch. Earwig will need all her ingenuity (and some help from a talking cat) to survive…
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Although an orphan, Earwig has always enjoyed living at St. Morwald's, where she manages to make everyone do her bidding, but when she is taken in by a foster parents who are actually a witch and a demon, she has a hard time trying to turn the situation to her advantage.… (more)

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