cover image Greta's Revenge: More Alice and Greta

Greta's Revenge: More Alice and Greta

Steven J. Simmons. Alfred A. Knopf, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-517-80051-5

This sequel improves on Simmons and Moore's rather monochromatic portraits of the two protagonists from Alice and Greta by admitting that even good witches have off days, while bad ones can behave, however reluctantly. Grumpy girl-witch Greta, who was trumped by sweet-natured Alice in the original story, has vengeance on her mind: ""I will make that pink goody two-shoes do nasty things just like me!"" Greta casts her spell, and Alice's pointy pink hat turns ""yucky green"" and she gets an irresistible urge to spoil parties and picnics. Meanwhile, Greta succumbs to the ""Brewmerang Principle,"" introduced in the earlier book: ""Whatever you chant, whatever you brew, sooner or later comes back to you!"" Greta ""smile[s] at the butterflies and flowers"" and rescues a cat from a tree. Luckily, Alice comes to her senses (""I can't wait to help people. That always makes me feel great"") and Greta follows suit (""When I start doing nasty things, I'll feel better""). In Moore's watercolor illustrations, the girls exchange understanding glances and grins. True, adorable Alice never suffers for her temporary badness, whereas the conclusion finds Greta dripping with slimy ""bug juice."" On the other hand, the likable villain shows that she can temper her wicked ways. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)