cover image Alice Nizzy Nazzy

Alice Nizzy Nazzy

Tony Johnston. Putnam Publishing Group, $16.99 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22788-2

Together again, Johnston and dePaola team up to transport Baba Yaga, one of Russia's great folklore figures, to the American Southwest. Incarnated here as Alice Nizzy Nazzy, the child-eating witch lives in an adobe hut perched on ""skinny roadrunner feet"" and surrounded by a fence of prickly pear cactus. When Manuela wanders by in search of her lost sheep, she ends up in Alice's soup caldron. But quick thinking and personal merit (""Good children taste so sour!"") save the day, the witch is routed, and sheep and shepherdess arrive home intact. Johnston's frothy tale is handsomely set off by dePaola's exuberant artwork, aglow with the colors of a Santa Fe sunset. DePaola clearly takes great glee in creating a witch of magnificent proportions: with her jalapeno-crowned coiffure, beady red eyes, scarlet fingernails, belt of silver conchos, and a horned lizard draped around her neck like a scarf, Alice Nizzy Nazzy is set to take her place in wicked-witch history. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)