winnie the witch six book and two cd collection review

By Valerie Thomas and Gorky Paul Published by Oxford University Press ISBN-10: 0192728466
This Six Book and Two CD Collection consists of the following titles: Winnie the Witch, Winnie’s New Computer, Winnie Flies Again, Winnie in Winter, Winnie’s Magic Wand and Winnie at the Seaside.
The CDs contain two versions of each story, three on each CD, With sound effects and without. So you hear the ‘noisy’ version then the ‘plain’ version. Personally I think it would have been better to have split them into six stories with sound effects on one CD and then had all the plain versions on the second CD. If you put the CD on and let it run you end up listening to three stories twice.
My daughter is enchanted by Winnie the Witch and indeed, Winnie is the sort of character who bridges all age groups. Personally I love that I can see a bit of myself in Winnie… actually quite a lot of myself. Winnie is untidy and a little bit on the slutty side when it comes to housework. She appears to live in her head a lot, focusing in the moment and her current dilemma. Her attire is thrown together thoughtlessly but she has a certain style about her. Her pointy buckled shoes, red and white striped stockings, lace-frilled dress, purple coat and wilting hat might look as though they have seen better days… but they are having the best fun now adorning the gorgeous Winnie.
The stories are humorous, fun and never boring. Valerie Thomas writes with rhythm and verve so that the stories move along at a good pace. They are neither too short or too long - just perfect for bedtime or snuggling up on the sofa. Winnie and her cat, Wilbur, come alive in Gorky Paul’s stunning illustrations. My daughter and I read these books over and over and we always see something in the pictures that we hadn’t noticed before. This alone, makes the books seem magical. There are many visual jokes and puns and Winnie’s world is beautifully constructed from a mixture of Discworld, Lord of the Rings, Mary Poppins, Lemony Snicket and steampunk.
The sound effects on the CDs are excellent. They really make the stories come alive. They are the aural equivalent of Korky Paul’s illustrations.
We have collected some other Winnie books and also a few non-Winnie books in the same series. Some are by different authors but all share Gorky Paul’s wonderful talent as an illustrator. All are of the same high standard. If you have children or grandchildren then I recommend you to take a look at Winnie the Witch and defy you not to be instantly drawn into her chaotic and magical world.

I waved my magic wand and… Abracadabra! Here is more about Winnie the Witch.