Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Unwilling Witch Goes to Ballet School by Hiawyn Oram

Rumblewick's Diary:  My Unwilling Witch Goes to Ballet School, written by Hiawyn Oram and illustrated by Sarah Warburton is a hilarious romp into the world of Rumblewick, witch's familiar to one very unwilling witch.  It reminded me a little of Roald Dahl (The BFG, Witches, Fantastic Mr. Fox) and Peggy Parrish (Amelia Bedelia), two of my favorites, largely because of the word play and humor; however, this could be a problem. The book LOOKS like an early chapter book, which may tempt many of our younger readers.  The problem with the younger (emerging) readers is that there are several made-up words and some unusual sentence structure (it is, after all, a diary written by a cat), which will make this book really frustrating to some of them. Some of the older readers who would really enjoy this book might pass it by simply because it looks too young. That said, I suspect that some good book talking will solve that issue for the older students, and selling it as a read aloud to the younger students would solve the difficulty issue with the younger ones. Overall, I recommend this book with the caveat -- "know your reader".

As a side note, I read this as a ebook edition on the iPad, and found the e-format to be frustrating. It was hard to tell if I was skipping pages, or if my iPad was glitching. I think this one would be better read as a real paper book.

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