cover image The Lunch Witch

The Lunch Witch

Deb Lucke. Papercutz (Macmillan, dist.), $14.99 trade paper (180p) ISBN 978-1-62991-162-5

Grunhilda the witch is out of work, but after hitting the classified ads, she secures a new gig in a school cafeteria. “Another day, another thousand cartons of curdled milk to hand out,” says Grunhilda, grinning. “I love this job.” Yes, Lucke’s (Sneezenesia) take on the adventures of a cafeteria employee is basically the polar opposite of Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s Lunch Lady books. From the olive, stain-splattered backgrounds to Lucke’s scraggly-sketchy renderings and semi-grisly plot twists, this one’s for kids who like their comedy (and their magic) dark. Worried that she’s about to be revealed as a witch, Grunhilda, who’s cut from the same cloth as Matilda’s Miss Trunchbull, reluctantly agrees to create an intelligence potion for struggling student Madison. Thanks to interference from Grunhilda’s undead witch ancestors, the potion turns Madison into a toad, and Grunhilda tries to set things right. “Was this Mexican yam dug in the dark?” she asks a grocer while gathering ingredients for an antidote. “It’s certified fair trade, but I can’t commit to dug in the dark,” he replies. A wickedly funny start to this series. Ages 7–10. [em](Mar.) [/em]