Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Excuse Me...Are You a Witch?

Excuse Me...Are You a Witch?

Emily Horn
Illustrator:  Pawel Pawlak 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Charlesbridge Publishing, 2004   ISBN: 1580891039

Herbert the black cat is a lonely little fellow, and since he has no one to play with, he spends a lot of time in the library. One day he reads that witches often keep black cats as pets. Surely if Herbert can find one of these wonderful stripe-stockinged, black-hatted, cauldron stirring, broom riders, he will also find someone who will want to take him in.

So Herbert sets out trying to find a witch to be his friend. The poor cat meets people who wear striped stockings, who wear black hats, who stir a cauldron, and who have a broom, and yet none of them is a witch. Indeed some of them are mortified when Herbert asks them “are you a witch?” Is Herbert going to find what he is looking for after all? Maybe he isn’t looking in the right place.

This story about a youngster who is trying to find a home and a friend is both amusing and touching. Readers will not be able to help feeling sorry for the lonely little cat who wants so much to have someone in his life to talk to and to be with. Bold large pastel drawings capture the innocence of the little cat and the importance of his search.