Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Cold Water Witch

The Cold Water Witch

Yannick Murphy
Illustrator:  Tom Lintern 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Tricycle Press, 2010   ISBN: 978-1582463308

One cold winter’s night, a freezing icy witch pays a call on a little girl. She invites the little girl to go “to where the world is covered in snow.” When the little girl refuses, the witch entices the child with images of herself skating on the ice. She explains that she is a princess and invites the girl to touch her “sparkling crown” and then her “beautiful gown.” The girl knows better than to touch the crown with its sharp points, but she cannot resist touching the witch’s gown, and then she is trapped, her hand stuck to the dress.

The witch insists that her captive take her to the freezer, which she will use to transport the child “to the frozen land.” For a while, the girl manages to stall, but eventually the freezer is found. The witch tries to force the girl to climb into the freezer, which is when the girl gets an idea of her own.

In this clever story, the author turns what starts off as a fairy tale into something else. Children will be delighted when they discover that evil spells can be avoided not only by using trickery and deception, but also by using kindness and friendship.