Witch in the House may be a dangerous book to let your kids get a hold of. The absolute highlight of the book is a flying bathmat named Pinky, who answers questions by flipping his corners. You should be forewarned that Pinky claims it would hurt to go in the dryer, so if your children raise a ruckus when you try to do laundry the modern way don’t say I didn’t warn you! You also may find your bathmats starring in imaginary adventures, but I’d mark that down as a perk – talk about cheap fun!
This time Laura discovers a witch on her swingset, but the witch is swinging upside down. When it becomes clear the witch is stuck upside down, Laura becomes incredibly worried that the witch will fall off into space, so she invites her in. Since it wouldn’t do for Laura’s mother to find out (Why should mother know if strangers are in the house?) the witch is hidden in Laura’s closet, where she sleeps on the ceiling. Again, this is a case of an absent minded witch who can’t figure out how to undo the spell, so Laura and her friend Jane have to help. With the help their beloved Pinky and Laura’s yellow cat, the girls collect the items the witch needs to fix her problem.
Young readers will definitely be envious of Pinky, the flying bathmat, and the freedom that Jane and Laura have. The witch herself doesn’t have much personality; the most interesting thing about her seems to be that she likes to eat garbage and that she licks broken glass like a lollipop. Like the other Ruth Chew books I’ve reviewed, this will be best enjoyed by primary grades readers (or listeners).
Sex, Nudity, Dating – The witch takes a shower on the bathroom ceiling. There is an illustration of her seated and nude on the ceiling. Her body is arranged so as to cover up more personal areas.
Profanity – None
Death, Violence and Gore – Frogs, jellyfish, cats and bathmats make it through unscathed. Phew!
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking – None.
Frightening or Intense Things – A dog chases the girls and gets a hold of Jane’s pants.