This is the story of a grandmother whose tips on how to spot a witch fail to prevent her inquisitive grandson from being turned into a mouse when he meets the Grand High Witch at the Hotel Magnificent in Bournemouth.
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Full details for this title
|Library of Congress
||Children's stories, English
Description of this Book
Classic Dahl in an enticing, collectable new format. REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women. They live in ordinary houses and they work in ORDINARY JOBS. So you could be living right next door to a witch and you'd never even know it! Luckily, this story, about the defeat of the gruesome Grand High Witch and her evil cronies, points out the vital clues. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
Winner of Whitbread Book Awards: Children's Book Category 1983
||By a talky, roundabout route, Dahl slyly (if deterringly) takes the narrator - ostensibly himself at seven - into the delicious, ambiguous situation of being a mouse-boy. . . who turns the tables on his tormentors. We first hear about witches: they spend their time plotting to get rid of children, they all look like nice ladies, they are difficult but not impossible to spot. Then, we hear about Dahl's cigar-smoking Norwegian grandmother, who told him about witches and how to spot them: they all wear wigs to cover their bald heads, for one thing, and have itchy scalps. So, when Dahl and his grandmother are at a Bournemouth hotel, and the lady-delegates to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children conference start scratching away (p. 57), Dahl is wary. Then the pretty head lady takes off her mask: the Grand High Witch incarnate! To demonstrate her Formula 86 Delayed Action Mouse-Maker, she's already fed some to greedy, obnoxious little Bruno Jenkins - who turns into a mouse on schedule. Will Dahl be detected, hiding behind a screen? He hasn't washed in days, but some of that tell-tale child-scent, anathema to witches, escapes. Forcefed the potion, he joins Bruno scampering about the floor - but they still have their own voices, and his wonderful witchophile grandmother will know what to do. Actually, Dahl's wits have if anything sharpened. With his grandmother as a confederate, he steals a bottle of the potion; pours it into the witch-delegates' soup tureen; and has the exquisite pleasure of seeing them turned into mice, to be wiped out on the spot. (Bruno meanwhile is contentedly munching away - to the horror of his mouse-hating parents.) When last seen, DaM and his grandmother are quietly resettled in Norway - where he wonders if she'll live out Ms short mouse-life span, and she's plotting to get rid of the world's remaining witches. A (quicker-acting) sequel is to be eagerly expected. (Kirkus Reviews)
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