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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Do You Think She's a Witch? is an adventure storybook for children written by Judith M. Ackerman and illustrated by Kieu Diem. She certainly looked like a witch to the kids living in the neighborhood. The old woman resided in a spooky old house high up on a hill; she wore black clothing; she was bent over -- she even had a wart on her nose! They couldn’t resist following her from a distance as she walked to the city each day, carrying an old sack. The kids weren’t the only ones who were fascinated by this woman. Every day, the local cats would eagerly follow along behind as she traveled the city streets. Their behavior would enrage the elderly woman who would angrily yell, “Scat!” at them and threaten to change them into bats. One day, as the kids were surreptitiously following behind, she suddenly stopped and started making a strange noise; then she began digging into that old sack. What would she do? Would she turn them into fleas or something even worse?
Do You Think She's a Witch? is an engaging fable about an elderly woman and the imaginative children who fantasize about her being a witch. I loved both the classic feel of the story and Kieu Diem’s marvelous illustrations. Diem’s depiction of her old house is rich in atmosphere and enhances the spookiness of the story. Even better is the way Ackerman brings the kids and cats down to earth with the elderly woman doing something very prosaic and everyday. This story offers a grand opening to a post-story hour discussion on how people who seem different often really aren’t and how appearances can be quite deceiving. Do You Think She's a Witch? is most highly recommended.