Sweets for the Sweet! The Sweetest Witch Around by Alison McGhee
"I'M THE BRAVEST WITCH AROUND.
WHY? BECAUSE I'M THE ONLY WITCH WHO IS NOT AFRAID OF HUMANS!"
This bravest of witches once found herself grounded on Halloween and befriended by a group of trick-or-treaters who admired her "costume" and invited her to go along. The little witch makes a human friend and in gratitude, takes her on a sight-seeing flight on her broom around a haunted mansion.
Now it is time for the Very Brave Witch to instruct her little sister, Witchling, in human Halloween customs. She invites her along on the broom for an overview of the holiday scene.
"STUDY THE HUMANS AND LEARN THEIR MYSTERIOUS WAYS, WITCHLING.
THEY LOVE DRESSING UP ON HALLOWEEN, ESPECIALLY LIKE US.
AND THEY LOVE SOMETHING DISGUSTING THEY CALL CANDY!"
Witchling is an eager student--too eager, it seems!--and when she gets her hands on some of those treats, she turns out to have quite the sweet tooth! Yum!!!
"WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT! MY LITTLE SISTER ACTUALLY ATE A PIECE OF HALLOWEEN CANDY! THAT'S ONE BRAVE WITCHLING!"
But before big sister can continue her lecture on other curious customs of humans, Witchling (who has no flying license) hops on the broom with Cat (Holy Catnip!!) and soars off for her own trick-or-treating expedition, returning with a huge treat bag full of candy. Big Sister pulls rank, jumps on the broom in the pilot's seat, and does a steep takeoff to get her little sister away from temptation as fast as possible. Sadly for Witchling, the treat bag spills its contents behind them, pleasing the little trick-or-treaters below, who have an easy haul to top off their treats. Although it's not exactly what she had in mind, big sister has to admit that Witching is the bravest and "sweetest" witch in the coven.
Alison McGhee's The Sweetest Witch Around (Simon & Schuster, 2015), in a new just-in-time-for-Halloween paperback edition, is a good example of a popular sub-genre, the interface between humans and the fantasy creatures of Halloween, carried out in this inviting story of little Witching, who, like her big sister in an earlier story, has an impromptu close encounter of the trick-or-treater kind, illustrated cleverly with Harry Bliss's witty artwork which add to the fun of the story with comic details not in the text. (Witchling's toys include an Easy-Bake Cauldron and her Graveyard Barbie Set--"Gravestones Included" for Ken and GIJoe.) With a funny double entendre in the title and happy Halloween ending, when Witchling's loss become the trick-or-treaters' gain, this story is sure to be popular treat for young readers in the scary season. Read my review of McGhee's and Bliss's companion book, A Very Brave Witch, here.
Pair this one with its companion book and with Kristyn Crow's Zombelina and Anne Marie Pace's Vampirina Ballerina. for more fun encounters of the spooky kind.