Throwback Thursday | The Witches by Roald Dahl

This Throwback Thursday I want to talk about a book that is near and dear to my heart…The Witches! I adore this book and what it has encouraged in my life to this day (yes, it still affects me).

The Witches

Format: Paperback, 208 pages
Published: 1997 (my edition) but orginally 1983
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN: 9780590032490
Age Range: 6+ depending on the child
Rating: 4/5 Stars
This is not a fairy-tale. This is about REAL WITCHES. Real witches don’t ride around on broomsticks. They don’t even wear black cloaks and hats. They are vile, cunning, detestable creatures who disguise themselves as nice, ordinary ladies. So how can you tell when you’re face to face with one? Well, if you don’t know yet you’d better find out quickly-because there’s nothing a witch loathes quite as much as children and she’ll wield all kinds of terrifying powers to get rid of them. Ronald Dahl has done it again! Winner of the 1983 Whitbread Award, the judges’ decision was unanimous: “funny, wise, deliciously disgusting, a real book for children. From the first paragraph to the last, we felt we were in the hands of a master.
If you have never read a Roald Dahl book then I suggest you shut off your computer and pick one up immediately. You have not read children’s literature until you have read one of his novels. My greatest suggestions are The Witches (above) or the BFG. I have never read a kids book by any other author that even remotely compares to the imagination and descriptions that Roald Dahl gives you in his novels. You can picture every piece of the story clearly. Test this by having someone read you a piece of the novel with your eyes closed and, I tell you this from experience, it is wonderful.
So here is a general description:
Witches exist, for real, and they HATE children. I use capitals because I mean it, they despise children. Children smell like “dog poo” to witches, so it is easy for them to find kids in the streets and make them disappear. Children all over the world have been disappearing for centuries without a trace all because of witches.
It isn’t easy to pick a witch out in a crowd since they look exactly like normal women, but here are a few small tricks to help you out:
  1. Witches have big nostrils – they need to find the kids you know!
  2. Witches wear wigs – they have bald heads!
  3. Witches wear gloves, even indoors! – They have no finger nails, YUCK!
If you look for these things it will help you narrow it down, and ANY woman could be a witch. Your favourite teacher, your neighbour, even your favourite blogger!
This is one of my favourite re-reads. The story never seems to get old and the accents of the ‘vitches’ get stuck in your head so easily that you will be talking like that for ‘veeks!’
Parents be warned: Young children may be frightened by the idea of witches and although this book is written lightly please make sure your children are going to be able to handle the content.

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