cover image THE WITCH CASTS A SPELL

THE WITCH CASTS A SPELL

Suzanne Williams, Author, Barbara Olsen, Illustrator , illus. by Barbara Olsen. Dial $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-2646-8

In her promising children's debut, Olsen creates elaborately patterned yet harmonious folk-art collages for Williams's (My Dog Never Says Please) Halloween version of "The Farmer in the Dell." Incorporating fabrics, paint and cut paper, the large horizontal collage illustrations show goblins, ghosts and the rest of the usual suspects at a costume jamboree; below, a narrow panel extends the joke (e.g., pumpkin lanterns spell out "Boo to you"). When a curious girl and her cat stop by, they are welcomed inside. Finally, "the clock sends them home. The clock sends them home...." and the humans remove their masks. So does the party-crasher, who, underneath her Shirley Temple getup, is a lilac-faced crone. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)