What the Witch Left

Friends Louise and Katy are playing in Katy’s room when Louise becomes curious about the tall chest of drawers.  Louise pressures Katy into opening the locked bottom drawer where they discover lots of stuff belonging to Katy’s Aunt Martha.  Over the course of the book they explore with magic gloves, a robe with special powers, seven league boots and a box that finds lost things.  The explorations are pretty fun, especially as the girls do make some bad decisions (using the gloves to do schoolwork for them, fibbing to their parents).

This book does smack of old-fashioned though.  Louise draws an Arab.  The girls are in a play with the Pilgrims and Indians (Indians of course wearing blankets, feathers and war paint).  The seven league boots take them to Mexico where they meet a girl, Pilar, her donkey Pepe (who Louise and Katy call Peppy).  Pilar and her grandmother make straw mats to sell at the market where Pilar is skilled at bargaining.  There’s not too much demeaning other cultures, but stereotyping is present.

Good for: Kids with parents who save lots of stuff.  When I was little, I remember what a treat it was to go through dresser drawers or boxes that were filled with old stuff.  I’d find gloves from my grandmother, petticoats from my great aunt, costume jewelry, tiny boxes, all sorts of small treasures.  Any child who likes this sort of play will love What the Witch Left.  Come on, who isn’t harboring a secret hope that somewhere in that jumble you’ll stumble upon something magical?

Sex, Nudity, Dating – None.
Profanity – None
Death, Violence and Gore – None.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking – None.
Frightening or Intense Things – None.

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