This is a wonderful book for children from four to eight...perhaps even three. It's about a little boy who loves "sweets" so much that he refuses to eat the healthy vegetables and fish his mother cooks for him. Something he does causes his mother to disappear and a witch appears in her place. The witch threatens the boy with all kinds of silly things if he doesn't eat what she cooks for him. The boy is more surprised than frightened because this is not that kind of really scary witch. When he finds his voice, he demands his mother back, pulls some "boy tricks" on the witch and the problem is resolved in a very satisfactory manner. The boy has learned a lesson about minding his mother and about eating healthy, so perhaps your children will, also.
Author Jason Mayo is to be commended for coming up with such a clever way of teaching a valuable life lesson to our little ones. It's a good storyline written in verse. Although I loved the author's idea and the simplicity of his story, the verse fell short. I enjoy reading verse outloud in a sing-songy voice, but when I tried with this book, it was impossible to do because the cadence was way off in too many places. Some passages rhymed, while others didn't. I actually stumbled over the words on the very first page...
I love the illustrations by Justin Wolfson because they're colorful and placed in the appropriate places to match the text. But what I enjoy most about them is that they're extra-large, making the characters jump off the pages right into your life. My grandson Devon giggled when he saw them and his eyes just about popped out when I turned to where the boy's head fills the entire page. I giggled right along with him.
Devon liked the boy in Do Witches Make Fishes?, but seemed most taken with the big brown dog, the huge "fishes" and the ice-cream sundae floating in the air. My favorite illustration is the last one in the book, depicting the boy, his mother and the family dog at the dining room table with wholesome food spread out before them. In fact, this book is very aesthetic from cover to back. Lovely...just lovely...
Reading this book to my darling Devon was such fun that I truly regret deducting one star because of the irregular verse pattern. But it is a solid four-star book... Highly recommended, especially at this time of year, but order yours now so it will arrive by Halloween.
Reviewed by Betty Dravis, October 24, 2010 Author of "Dream Reachers" (with Chase Von) and other books
Do Witches Make Fishes? By: Jason Mayo; illustrated by Justin Wolfson Published by: AuthorHouse Date: 2010 ISBN: 978-1-4520-6944-9 Price: $12.99 Ages: 4-8 Rating: 4 stars Reviewed by: Nancy Messmore Synopsis: There once was a boy who was tired of carrots and fishes. He went on a hunger strike, … more
BETTY DRAVIS was born in Hamilton, Ohio, one of seven children of John and Felda Barger. Her natural writing ability was nurtured by a “great Ohio school system, caring teachers, and a loving family.” … more
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"Do Witches Make Fishes?" is the moral tale of a young boy who favors candy over his mother's outlandish but healthy dishes. When faced with an ultimatum from his mother, the boy has to make a difficult choice. What ensues is a series of extraordinary and fantastical events that will take the reader on a magical journey through the imagination of a child. In the end, you will find yourself asking, Do Witches Make Fishes?