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The Witches: Plays for Children by Roald…

The Witches: Plays for Children

by Roald Dahl

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The book begins with a description of REAL WITCHES, who may, in fact, look like everyday people. The narrator discusses the loss of his parents, and going to live with his grandmother. His grandmother warns him about witches, as they have caused five children (that she knows of) to disappear. She gives him lessons about how to recognize witches, about The Grand High Witch of All the World. He runs into a convention of witches, who plan on making every child disappear. They turn the narrator into a mouse, and he succeeds in stealing their evil potion, thereby turning all of the witches into mice. The story ends with the narrator and his grandma making plans to conquer all of the witches in the world. Sketches are scattered throughout the text, and the prose is simplistic enough for elementary-age children without being patronizing. The sketches do not add to the text, but reinforce the elements of the story.

The Witches is actually a highly popular book, especially among readers in grades four and five. Children love the tension between obviously recognizing good and evil, and the drama that brings. Dahl's writing is accessible without being pedantic. ( )
  amandacb | Mar 18, 2010 |
i liked dis book cuz....its cool an intreasting book bout witches even if daye aint real ( )
  taytay1998 | Feb 3, 2010 |
a world of witchs and a kid has to escape them and help his grandma from danger ( )
1 vote rsturtz | Jan 14, 2010 |
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This is a set of plays, not the same as the book "The Witches". Do not combine.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0141310847, Paperback)

"This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches." So begins one of Roald Dahl's best books ever, and, ironically, it is such a great story because the premise is perfectly plausible from the outset. When the narrator's parents die in a car crash on page two (contrast this terribly real demise with that of James's parents who are devoured by an escaped rhinoceros in James and the Giant Peach), he is taken in by his cigar-smoking Norwegian grandmother, who has learned a storyteller's respect for witches and is wise to their ways.

The bond between the boy and his grandmother becomes the centerpiece of the tale--a partnership of love and understanding that survives even the boy's unfortunate transformation into a mouse. And once the two have teamed up to outwitch the witches, the boy's declaration that he's glad he's a mouse because he will now live only as long as his grandmother is far more poignant than eerie.

Of course, there's adventure here along with Dahl's trademark cleverness and sense of the grotesque. Dahl also communicates some essential truths to children: if they smoke cigars, they'll never catch cold, and, most importantly, they should never bathe, because a clean child is far, far easier for a witch to smell than a dirty one. (Ages 7 to 10, or read aloud to younger children)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:21 -0400)

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Anyone who enjoyed Roald Dahl's "The Witches" will love these seven short plays. They pick out the key moments in the story and are ideal for acting at school or at home. With useful tips on staging, costumes and props, these plays are easy to perform and lots of fun.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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