Monday, December 16, 2013

Diana Mitchell Presents The Grey Witch and Other Stories As Delightful Children's Picture Book!

The cat was growing bigger and his furry tail was growing
longer and longer. His fur lay down flat and shiny and turned
into scales. His neck got longer too, so that if he had still been
in the cave, his head would have bumped into the roof.
Oh dear me, something must have gone wrong, said the witch.
The cat, who had become a dinosaur, wanted to say Something
always does...
Once upon a time there was a grey witch who lived in a cave on a hill by the sea. She had a grey pointed hat and a grey robe and a grey furry cat who liked to catch mice. The grey witch had a big grey book of spells which she liked to mix up and cook in her cauldron.
Sometimes the spells smelled terrible and then the grey cat would tiptoe out of the cave and lie in the sunshine outside.
Sometimes the witch used the wrong ingredients because the book was very old and blurred, and even with her glasses on she had trouble reading it. This is why some very unexpected things often happened. One time she mixed up a nice strengthening potion for her cat to make him big and strong, and by mistake she turned him into a mouse and all his friends chased him.
Today she was trying out a new spell which smelled worse than usual and when she was finished, she called her cat to taste it.
The cat pretended not to hear.
The witch took out a big ladle and held it out to him.
The cat pretended not to see it.
The witch told him to swallow it.
The cat pretended to be asleep.
The witch bent down and tickled him and told him to drink it or he wouldn't get any supper. The cat opened his eyes, yawned, and before he knew it he'd swallowed all of it...

The Grey Witch and Other Stories

By Diana Mitchell
With Illustrations by Susan Whiting

Long before schools were available to attend like Harry Potter and his mates. witches were on their own in learning and developing their particular, unique skills. They did have ancient books, some of which were hard to read, so they kept studying, gathering materials...and experimenting. The Grey Witch was fairly young so she would have a few problems once in awhile. Her cat was not happy when she was turned into a mouse--would you be? Still, when she changed the brew a little and gave it to her cat, it too was a disaster!

At least it could have been... Fortunately, her cat was a friendly one, so while the Grey Witch went back to the books to figure out what she had done wrong, the cat, now dinosaur, headed down the hill from the cave where he lived and soon was approaching the school! While he was friendly, as a dinosaur, when he opened his mouth to speak, all that came out was a big roar! 

Well, soon the Witch realized that her cat/dinosaur was gone and she went looking. By that time, there was a crowd and, guess what, the children were taking turns riding on the dinosaur!

The Grey Witch Goes to School (Excerpt!)
The grey witch went on down the hill toward the
school. The children were out in the yard playing,
and when they saw her coming, they ran out to
meet her. They opened the gate and helped her
carry some of the things which were in the
cauldron. Then they helped her to set it up on
a tripod, and some of them went inside to fetch
the teachers...
Some of the people who were driving past the
school saw it and forgot about driving carefully
and bumped into each other. When the police
came, the people said they were watching the
With a new brew, soon the dinosaur started getting smaller...and finally became the cat again. Many were sorry to see the dinosaur go! 

But the day was such fun that The Grey Witch was invited back! That day, she went inside to demonstrate her magic...but I'm not going to tell you what happened that day! Let's just say that it might be a long time before she gets another invitation...LOL

Now, before I go any further, take a look at the beautiful cover! Inside are additional full-page portrait-style pictures that places this book into library quality...That house on the front? it belongs to The Orange Witch. Boy, would I love to live in that great tree house! Wouldn't you? In the larger picture, you can see that you can reach out of a window and pick an orange for breakfast!
The police said "What archaeopteryx?
and then they saw it and forgot to give the people tickets...

 The Yellow Witch always wore a long yellow dress and a yellow pointed hat and used a yellow cauldron to cook up her spells; while The Orange Witch always wore an orange dress, hat and used an orange cauldron. If you didn't see the cats along with their witches, you might think they were the same color--but they really are different. The yellow witch was interested in meteorology and so while studying all of her witch's books, she also studied all about the climate and used the breeze, wind, or rain in casting her spells! That worked out very well for her because she heard some men talking about tearing up the hill where she lived and building apartment houses! Ha! Even bulldozers couldn't stand under all the weather issues that developed!

Fortunately the Orange Witch's tree house was safe! And it was Halloween--her favorite time! One day she met Peter walking nearby and he started talking about going trick-or-treating. Well, would you believe she decked him out as the astronaut he wanted to be--and even created a space ship to travel around that night! "A silver fish In a starry sky, A child's true wish, Personify!" There stood the little space ship that even had room to take the cat with them!

Wait until you ride in it, said the witch. Come on,
jump in.  I'll push you down to the lake.
The cat was trying to think of a polite way to refuse
when she picked him up and dropped him into the
boat...The boat was rocking gently in the water.
The cat wanted to jump out but was afraid to get wet.
He went and curled up on the deck in the sunshine.
Now the last witch also had a cat, but she wanted to be known as the Blue Witch--she had a blue cape and a blue pointed hat and bluebells grew all around her save...She had a blue furry cat who was really white but she turned him blue whenever she remembered to! LOL and her eyes brilliantly shown against her cape and hat! 

But no matter what color she was, when the Blue Witch decided she wanted to go out on a boat and water ski, that was just toooo much! But, of course, soon there was a new blue boat with a roaring noise, ready to go! 

The cat was not happy! But it got worse! The witch decided she needed a shotgun--and the only animal
who liked water was a terrier... Ohhhhh nooooo...!

Now you haven't seen a great picture for children until you see a terrier dog riding water skis! Wow!

Do you have a library for your children, to read and keep their books for the rest of their lives? Children are always interested in magic and when the witches are kid-friendly, although maybe not so cat-friendly, I think that readers will enjoy meeting each of the "colorful" witches... don't you?! The book is 7 x 10 and the cover is glossy. The pictures seem to be pencil drawn, I think, but are simply beautiful and includes pics of their homes, yellow butterflies, a very large white long-hair cat turned blue, LOL, and many more! While the oranges grown by the Orange Witch might not be magical, how about candy apples growing on trees?

Check this out for your kids, but don't be afraid to admit that you'll enjoy it too... I did! Highly recommended...


About the Author

Diana Mitchell was born in England and went to school at Stoetley Hall in Surrey. She attended college in Godalming. At age 18 she joined the WRNS. During this time she met and married an American flyer and moved to America. She now lives in Rolling Hills, California. She has 6 children, 8 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren and many pets.
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