cover image BROOM MATES


Margie Palatini, , illus. by Howard Fine. . Hyperion, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0418-4

Gritch the Witch from Piggie Pie and Zoom Broom returns, this time with too much mischief and not enough magic. When Gritch's sister, Mag the Hag, arrives early (from "Maliboo") on the eve of Gritch's "howliday party," the two argue over everything from sleeping arrangements to menu. Mag says, "Phooey! I'm going to make my rat-tail-tooey," to which Gritch replies, "My brew-ha-ha will be the howl of the party." While such puns make for a fun read-aloud, their meaning may be lost on many children. Fine characterizes Mag, with her big blonde hair and animal print shirts and Spandex, as a comic counterpoint to the warty, green-clawed, wild-haired antiheroine, but his over-the-top style only accelerates the full-throttle text. Ages 3-6. (Aug.)