cover image Little Witch Hazel: A Year in the Forest

Little Witch Hazel: A Year in the Forest

Phoebe Wahl. Tundra, $19.99 (96p) ISBN 978-0-7352-6489-2

In four tales that follow the seasons, Little Witch Hazel, who has light brown skin and wears a pointed red cap, serves as her woodland community’s conscientious caretaker. Working with woodblock-like illustrations in a palette of greens, blues, and reds, Wahl (The Blue House) conjures a cozy world of forest creatures living in overgrown thickets amid twisting vines. In the spring, Little Witch Hazel finds an orphaned egg and cares for the “poof of a bird” that emerges. On a summer day with many errands to run, she finds that everyone else is relaxing, and she’s persuaded to join them: “All she had to do was sit, and listen, and breathe in the fragrant summer air.” In autumn, a mysterious cry from a hollow stump frightens everyone, and only Little Witch Hazel is brave enough to investigate. And in winter, Little Witch Hazel is caught in a blizzard after a day of doctoring. A thread of loving and nurturing emerges through this treasury of quiet adventures—no creature in the forest is too small to escape Little Witch Hazel’s attention, and readers will find satisfaction in seeing the way her sturdy care succors her community and results in gentle reciprocation. Ages 4–8. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. (Sept.)