Friday, October 30, 2009

REVIEW: City Witch, Country Switch

Wax, W. (2008). City Witch, Country Switch. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Children.


With a similar title to the the picturebook City Kid, Country Kid, Wax's City Witch, Country Switch contains similar themes, but uses an entirely different approach to describing the different lifestyels of people who live in the city and people who live in the country. City Witch, Country Switch shares the story of Mitzi, a city witch who arrives home to discover that her cousin Muffletump is there and would like to stay. But Muffletump becomes homesick and uses magic to bring some aspects of country life into the city, which leave Mitzi far from pleased...until she decides to join Muffletump in the country for her own vacation.

The illustrations are fun, my favorite part being the faces Mitzi makes at her cousin's unwanted magic spells. Gibala-Broxholm's portrayals of the two witches clothing styles manages to hints well as their underlying personality differences.

While some crazies could accuse this story of glorifying witchcraft (I know you're out there!!!!), at heart this is a story of attempting to find middle ground and being able to relate to one another. This could be a good book to share with girls' who are having trouble working or playing together because they think they are very different.


In response to a read aloud, students could write their own Halloween or supernatural themed poems.

City Witch, Country Switch also lends itself to discussions of home and lifestyles, the different ways space is used depending on a location, being considerate of others, trying to understand and respect others' cultures and ways of living, etc.

There is also a slight environmental message that a teacher could draw out, since Muffletump objects to the amount of smog she encounters in the city.

Quotes of Note:

"Mitzi was a city witch
who came home late one night
and saw her window open wide.
Had she left on the light?"

"Remembering a magic spell
to help her [Muffletump] fall asleep,
she chanted "Twinkly-Winkly!"
and...the room filled up with sheep!"

"Bye-bye, noise and smog," she called.
"The country is for me!"
"Wait," yelled Mitzi, "I'll come, too!"
Her cousin whooped, "Yippee!"

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