Mitzi wants a pet.
Being a witch, she wants a creepy pet. But the toad ignores her, the
bats just hang around with each other, and Mitzi has serious doubts
about the warthogs.
We know Mitzi will eventually discover the perfect pet - but what
sort of creepy-crawly will it be?
The moral is "looks aren't everything." Mitzi even says so herself.
Fortunately for the rest of us that doesn't dominate the story.
Arthur Howard builds his picture book around the clever reversal of
reader expectations. Where you or I might wear bunny slippers,
Mitzi's have monster faces, and so on. This is a cuddly sort of
creepiness - there is no viciousness or intent of malice in either
story or drawings. In any case, Mitzi is so obviously comfortable
with all the "creepy things" that young readers will be too. (And
even young readers will appreciate the irony of Mitzi's deepest,
In October particularly - with Halloween around the corner - children
juggle a desire to be scared and thrilled with a need to be safe.
They want scary, but not too scary, and the threshold for each child
is different. For the more cautious reader, Hoodwinked meets a
Dust jacket illustration by Arthur Howard; courtesy of Harcourt, Inc.
by Wendy Morris. © 2001
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