Monday, December 14, 2009

Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage

Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage
by Kaye Umansky
ill. by Johanna Wright
juvenile fantasy adventure
297 pages
New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2009

Clever Twig is a clever and strong girl. When the village witch, Mrs. Eckles, advertises for a live-in housekeeper, Clover jumps at the chance to help her family (and have her own room). The cottage quickly comes together under Clover's capable hands. However, life is not meant to run smoothly for the little house. The evil Mesmeranza has a diabolical plan for the cottage which of course involves just the right outfit, a spectacular hairdo, and the perfect pair of red shoes! Wait, how could I forget cake?! A scrumptious cake with white icing and a big red cherry is crucial to Mesmeranza's evil doings. Can Clover protect her new home with the help of her clumsy friend Wilf and Mrs. Eckles' familiar, the mangy cat Neville?

A fun adventure full of quirky characters made this a quick and enjoyable read. I don't usually like silly fantasy, but for some reason this one worked. The characters are interesting and I found myself hoping that Wilf would get over his clumsiness and that Neville would get a proper bath so Clover wouldn't be so disgusted by him.

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