cover image Grimelda: The Very Messy Witch

Grimelda: The Very Messy Witch

Diana Murray, illus. by Heather Ross. HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-226448-0

Grimelda, a young witch with a frizzy mass of red hair, keeps a messy house, which means that it’s no easy task to locate the spell book and the pickle root she needs for a recipe. Murray (City Shapes) packs playful comedy into her rhyming verse (“She used her broom to fly, not sweep./ Her floors had dirt six inches deep”), and Ross (How to Behave at a Dog Show) creates a chaotically cozy swamp dwelling for Grimelda, filled with lurking animals, piles of books, vines, and globs of slime. Grimelda eventually caves in and cleans up, but this isn’t a story meant to encourage kids to keep their own rooms tidy: Grimelda looks profoundly uneasy in her newly spic-and-span house, and she immediately uses a spell to mess it up again. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Brianne Johnson, Writers House. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (July) [/em]