Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Believathon 2019 - The Worst Witch Mini-Reviews

Sorry for my lack of write-up for my Believathon as the book I’m read (North Child by Edith Pattou) is taking a lot longer to read that I was expecting (meaning I’m not going to read the readathon’s group read - Frostheart by Jamie Littler - in time. Might try and read it over the Christmas Blog Break!). Plus, with Nanowrimo taking my time on the typing front and me listening to audiobooks that don’t really fit Believathon (so I’m putting those reviews/write-up’s up in December), I’ve kinda got myself a bit of a blog dip. 

So, SURPRISE! I have one big blog post over two The Worst Witch books! I have The Worst Witch All At Sea (the fourth in the series) and The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star (the seventh in the series). 

Hang on a moment. I need to put those blasted affiliate links up (do you use them? I’m curious on whether to keep them or only use one or two instead of four) 

  • Title And Author: The Worst Witch All at Sea and The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star by Jill Murphy
  • Publisher: Puffin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
  • Length: 224 Pages for Worst Witch All at Sea, 208 Pages for Worst Witch and the Wishing Star or 2 Hours and 5/9 Minutes 

So, with that out of the way (do those links make sense? I hope so!), let me do a quick write-up on each. 

In The Worst Witch All at Sea, Mildred Hubble and her classmates have been given a special treat: a week by the seaside. But Mildred is upset over her cat, Tabby, behind left behind, so she sneaks him with her. And with that, trouble follows. 

In The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star, Mildred makes a wish on a shooting star and, to her surprise, it comes true! A dog is waiting for her, but how is she going to keep him - Star - a secret from everyone, especially the formidable Miss Hardbroom? And with the school entering a contest to win an indoor swimming pool, you know trouble is going to come when disaster-prone Mildred is about…

I’m going to say this right off the bat, the original Worst Witch story is wonderful. A classic and I will love it with all my heart (and it was first written in the late 1970s!). So, going into these sequels is going to be an interesting experience as I always wondered “Are these going to be as good?” 

They are good. They are cute and fun and a delight to read. I admit these don’t hold a candle to the original as that was spellbinding (get it? Sorry, will stop with puns) but it was lovely to return to this world and these characters.

Plus, I think Mildred is a refreshing character. Yes, she’s forgetful, messy and usually does the wrong thing, but readers see that she never does something bad on purpose, that she is does try and correct her mistakes, apologises when she must, and she is a good friend and does try her best. And this, to me, is important to tell young people. I think, sometimes as adults, we forget to tell children that it’s ok to make mistakes, but being a good person and trying your best is important. It’s important to remind ourselves to be kind to each other and ourselves.

I love the The Worst Witch and I read the original a lot before Harry Potter was published. But I really enjoyed listening to these audiobooks (though I’m not 100% sure I like Gemma Arterton as narrator - but then, I did put the speed up to 1.25), I am very tempted to reread the first book and maybe figure out how to push this series onto my poor little nephews...

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