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What's in the witch's kitchen?
2011
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Author Biography

Nick Sharratt is the author-illustrator of numerous books for children, including The Foggy, Foggy Forest and Dinosaurs’ Day Out. He lives in Brighton, England. - (Random House, Inc.)

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Kirkus Reviews

The title beckons readers into the dark house pictured on the cover. What will be found?

Each double page-spread shows a typical household item on the left, for example a refrigerator, and asks: "What's in the fridge in the witch's kitchen? Open it left or right. Will you like what you see? Or will it give you a fright?" Curious readers can open the sturdy flap one way to find "BATS WITH FLEAS!" Gross! Opening the other way, they'll get "TASTY CHEESE!" Yum! Six similar spreads follow, with most of the answers rhyming: "Nasty! Goblin's pee! / Nice! Strawberry tea!" and "Rabbit plops! / Lollipops!" This silly humor will elicit many giggles while reinforcing the learning of directional concepts of left and right and up and down. Pictures pop in bright, saturated colors defined by thick black line. In addition, young readers will find Halloween images—snakes, bats, spiders, frogs, witch's brooms, ghosts, moons and stars—in the patterns used to create many of the illustrations. The final spread holds a special surprise: "If your frazzled nerves can't take any more, make your escape through the witch's back door!" "BOO!" screams the witch leaping out from the page in her Halloween finery.

Share dramatically with a group ("Which way should this open first?") or enjoy Sharratt's interactive rhyming fun one-on-one. (Picture book. 3-5) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Inside a witch's kitchen, flaps incorporated into closeup images of household objects reveal surprises both naughty and nice: "Open it left or open it right,/ Will you want to shout yuck?/ Or will you cheer with delight?" When opened to the right, a flap on a mixing bowl shows "toffee popcorn!" Opening the same flap to the left, however, shows a leaping frog and "slimy frog spawn!" A jar offers either lollipops or "rabbit plops," and the witch herself pops up behind a red door. Satisfying effects, lively colors, and a touch of "ick" should ease toddlers into the Halloween spirit. Ages 3–up. (July)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 1–3—Sharratt's book comes with choices. The flaps covering the seven items in the witch's kitchen can be opened either from the left or right, or up or down. Questions prompt readers to guess what's inside each appliance or container. The rhymes that appear beside each illustration hint at the contents under the flaps. "What's in the toaster in the witch's kitchen?/Open it left or open it right. Will it make your mouth water or turn your hair white?" One side of the flap reveals "a grumpy burnt ghost"; the other side shows "some crunchy hot toast." Sharratt's digital illustrations are colorful and large. Symbols associated with witches are incorporated into the different views of the kitchen. The dishes in the cabinet have a snake pattern on them. The green walls are painted with stars and moons, and the refrigerator is covered with magnets in the shape of a witch's favorite things. Children don't meet the purple-haired witch until she pops out of the back door on the last page, but her pet cat makes a couple of appearances throughout. Humorous contrasts, cheery colors, and smiling bats and ghosts make this book a perfect fit for storytimes about homes, rhymes, or surprises.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada

[Page 84]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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