By Steve Simmons
Illustrated by Cyd Moore
*This book is out of print, but may be available in your favorite used bookstore on on Amazon used books.
Greta, a witch who enjoys playing nasty tricks on people, tries to make the kind witch Alice just like her, but the spell backfires.
Alice, who uses her magic to help others, and Greta, who is always conjuring up trouble. In Greta’s Revenge, Alice has foiled one of Greta’s nasty schemes — and Greta wants to get even. She casts a spell that makes Alice do mean things. But Greta has forgotten the most important lesson of witch school, the Brewmerang Principle: “Whatever you chant, whatever you brew, sooner or later it comes back to you!” Soon Greta is doing nice things for people. Luckily for both witches, the spell wears off — but not before Greta has learned a little bit about the value of kindness. Ebullient illustrations perfectly capture the spirit of this clever, accessible, and satisfying tale that’s eminently suited for Halloween — and beyond.
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.)
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