Friday, October 3, 2014
Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage by Kaye Umansky
To help out her large family, young Clover Twig decides to look for work. Clover finds an advertisement to be a housekeeper for Mrs. Eckles: a well-known witch who owns an odd, old cottage in the country. Clover applies for the position and Mrs. Eckles hires her. As Clover begins her job, she is told about the cottage’s powers, like its ability to fly. One day while Mrs. Eckles is away, Mesmeranza—Mrs. Eckles evil sister—gets through the cottage’s protective magic and flies away with the cottage, but Clover, Clover's friend, Wilf, and Neville, the cat, are trapped inside.
Umansky's story is a spunky fairytale that will have readers cheering Clover on through her many adventures with the flying cottage. However, Wright’s illustrations can seem primitive or naïve because they do not match Umansky's intelligent narrative. There is a sequel, Clover Twig and the Perilous Path, but it is not as well written as this book. Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage can be a stand-alone story. With the way Umansky wrote the book, it would be a great read-aloud for any age group.