The fourteen episodes around the wicked witch, whose cauldron contains more fun than malice, are well known in Europe. Hannah Kraan’s books have been translated all over the world. 25 years after the first collection was published it is time for a party! To celebrate this silver anniversary, award-winning illustrator Annemarie van Haeringen has chosen to illustrate a new picture book by Lemniscaat. But will the Wicked Witch come to the party and dance?
The story: The animals of the forest, lead by the clever hare, are planning a party – so it’s just natural to invite the wicked witch, which is a resident after all. But even bringing over the invite in-person can’t convince the grumpy lady to attend the animals’ party. Until the party music starts… Planning to witch the loud animals, the witch unexpectedly joins the get-together. But does she want to cast a spell over the warm and welcoming animals, who are not intimidated by the unfriendly and almost hostile party guest? Distracted by the hare and his furry friends, the crabby witch discovers how to have a great time, dances, sings, forgets about her original plan to spread fear – and even brings up a mouthwatering party-cake.
The English translation of Hanna Kraan’s book shows preschool- and elementary school aged children, that being kind and forgiving to others can banish bad temper and crankiness. Friends are made in the unlikely places – and sometimes the best friends are the unlikely ones…
Annemarie van Haeringen’s illustrations are an important part of this picture book. Every detail supports the story. I especially loved the transformation of the wicked witch from an angry, almost cold expression into a blissful, idyllic look after discovering the fun of attending a party!