cover image Amanda and the Magic Garden

Amanda and the Magic Garden

John Himmelman. Viking Children's Books, $10.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-80823-6

Amanda of Amanda and the Witch Switch is back with more spells that spell troubleespecially when she accepts some magic vegetable seeds from a prankish troll. Carrots come up six feet tall, and have an adverse effect on the surrounding animal population that eats them. They, too, become huge. Amanda is forced to work her magic on a tiny garden; when the animals eat those veggies, they return to normal size, and Amanda gets her revenge on the troll. Himmelman has a child's insight into the realm of the possible: if one eats large things, one grows large; if one eats small things, of course one gets smaller. His illustrations are playful; a gigantic rabbit, raccoon, mouse, caterpillar and others cautiously sing a lullaby, trying to keep a big skunk dozing. And Himmelman's witch has a wonderful sense of justice. (3-8)