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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Tooth Gnashing Witch (The)
by Tina Meroto
Age Range: 9-11
A mother warns her three sons not to venture into the woods because a witch, with nasty metal teeth and a reputation for eating children, lives there. Despite their mother’s warning, curiosity gets the better of the boys and they go off in search of adventure. After getting lost they come across a house deep in the wood where the enticing smell of food wafts from the door. The friendly old woman who lives there encourages them to go inside and the brothers eagerly follow her completely unaware that this is really the home of the wicked witch.
The boys are offered food and a bed for the night. The youngest boy is suspicious – something doesn’t feel right and he is cannot get to sleep. Fortunately, with clever guile he is able to distract the witch from her evil intentions and the three brothers finally manage to escape her clutches.
This is a very sophisticated picture book in terms of subject and illustrations that explores the deepest fears rooted in many old and traditional fairy tales. The artwork is outstanding and Maurizio A. C. Quarello has managed to bring the macabre theme of the story alive with the dark, eerie colours. There is a double-page spread that clearly shows the bones and the skulls of the past unfortunate souls that have fallen under the witch’s spell that could be perceived as somewhat gruesome, Another chilling picture book from Spain suitable for older readers.
OQO’s books www.oqo.es are also produced in Galician, Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese and French. The English titles are now available in the UK distributed by the Roundhouse Group.