Whizz-Bang Winnie by Laura Owen and Korky Paul

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Whizz-bang Winnie (Winnie the Witch) by Laura Owen and Korky Paul

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Winnie the Witch in book form rather than as a picture book will appeal to both boys and girls in the newly-confident reader group. Four stories and wonderful illustrations make this a recommended book.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: August 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0192727527

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Many parents and children will be familiar with Winnie the Witch and her cat Wilbur from the picture books by Valerie Thomas. Winnie has a new friend to tell her stories now, in the form of Laura Owen who has teamed up with Korky Paul who illustrated the original picture books. They're telling us all about the zany witch in book form for the newly confident reader. I'm sure that there'll be plenty of parents only too willing to share this book with the younger child too.

There are four short stories in this book (and in others which are to follow) and they're just the right length for a young reader to feel a real sense of achievement when they've read to the end. The vocabulary is suitable for the five to seven age group (or thereabouts) and the humour is perfect for them. Parents must not groan. Each story is complete in itself and one, or two would make a perfect bedtime read. There's fun and drama in each one and a happy ending to make things perfect.

The Korky Paul illustrations are the link between the original pictures books and these early readers. Here the illustrations are in black and white but they lose none of their explosive humour and my only worry would be that it's very easy to stop reading and concentrate on the pictures – they really are that good. Even the page numbers are in the form of individual illustrations.

Despite the stories being based on Winnie I think they'll appeal to boys as much as to girls unlike some of the Unwilling Witch books which do seem to be directed more towards girls. I think too that they'll have some shelf life. The stories will stand several readings and the illustrations are bound to be favourites, with more details to be found on each reading. The lack of complexity in the stories does mean that they're unlikely to remain in favour much beyond the age of about seven and you might like to bear this in mind if you're considering buying the book. I personally would buy for the younger child but borrow for the older.

I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

For another early reader with delightful illustrations we can recommend Ottoline Goes to School by Chris Riddell. For all things be-witching we also loved The Worst Witch to the Rescue by Jill Murphy.

Buy Whizz-Bang Winnie by Laura Owen and Korky Paul at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Whizz-Bang Winnie by Laura Owen and Korky Paul at Amazon.co.uk.

Buy Whizz-Bang Winnie by Laura Owen and Korky Paul at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Whizz-Bang Winnie by Laura Owen and Korky Paul at Amazon.com.


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