A new addition to the ‘Winnie the Witch’ series, this story is every bit as original and enjoyable as the first.
Strange things are happening in Winnie the Witch’s house – a broken vase, torn curtains, and a chandelier that suddenly crashes to the ground. There is no obvious explanation so Winnie decides her house must be haunted and reaches her spell book to solve the problem. As usual the spell only makes matters worse, at first anyway.
With their distinctive illustrations and popular formula, the books in the Winnie the Witch series rarely fail to delight. Inevitably, however, some are better than others. Winnie’s Haunted House is undoubtedly one of the best with a story that is every bit as original as the very first. In fact, as a cat lover, I think I might even pre-fur this one. I simply love the fact that there is a simple and ordinary reason for the weird events (plot spoiler – they have something to do with Winnie’s cat, Wilbur).
Valerie Thomas continues to come up with appealing ideas for the series which is no mean feat when you consider the slightly artificial format she is now tied into. The book is possibly a little wordy compared to most picture books currently being published but this probably reflects the length of the time the series has been going – since 1987! Luckily, the length of the text doesn’t prevent the enjoyment of the book and children will be able to deduce much of the story from the pictures.
As ever Korky Paul’s illustrations are full of detail and humour. They continue to follow the tried and tested comic-strip format and, as result, feel almost like animation in places. For example, the double-page spread showing a slice of Winnie’s house with ghosts in almost every room is wonderful in its detail and almost guaranteed to intrigue children in the target age group.
Overall, this is a delightful addition to a successful series that very much deserves its popularity. If you enjoyed this story, you might also like Winnie’s Big Bad Robot, Winnie’s Dinosaur Day or Winnie In Space.
Date: September 2015
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Website: Winnie and Wilbur
Review first published on The Bookbag