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4.9 out of 5 stars141
4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 21 September 2002
I first read this book in about 1981 and I've loved it ever since. Forget the terrible tv series which had very little to do with the actual work, this book is a great read - FULL of spooky, misty, atmosphere and marvellous characters like the terrifying Miss Hardbroom... Well worth reading, especially for any child who missed the tv series...(btw, the best adaptation was the 1980s film with Fairuza Baulk, a fab Halloween film :0)
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on 17 September 2003
Having never read this series as a child, I was recommened it for my childern. I really enjoyed Mildred Hubbles poor displays of witchcraft and how she won through after several disasters. You could see it as a forerunner of Harry Potter. A wonderful book fof a young reader as the story progresses quickly and is easy to follow. I will read another.
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VINE VOICEon 20 February 2005
I really enjoyed the worst witch books when I was a child and I am amazed to find out now it was originally published three years before I was born.
The story is still enjoyable and the drawings throughout the book are wonderful and really add to the text. Of course a similarity if always going to be drawn to this and Harry Potter (broomstick and potions classes) but at just over 100 pages and with larger print it is aimed at a younger audience than the Harry Potter books but should be enjoyable to most readers, even older ones!
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on 19 November 2011
I read this when my own children were small and also hearing free choice readers in a year 2 / 3 class as a volunteer later. It was an immensely popular choice with the children (and with me!)- we all thought it was hilarious. There aren't very many really good books that fit this stage of reading, when picture books have been left behind and full length stories are still too much of a struggle. Of those there are, a lot are simply not well enough written or too 'American' in language style, and many are too boring. Mildred's antics in 'The Worst Witch' and its successors are far from this; they keep the children's interest from page 1 and the book is neither too long nor to short for children who are just bridging that gap before full reading fluency develops. You can't do much better for six to eight year olds.
The Worst Witch (Young Puffin Story Books)
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on 7 April 2016
The first book in a legendary saga.

Where to start? This book changed the game when it comes to children's books; Jill Murphy has written personable characters in both child and adult form, the story isn't boring and I have to mention, again, the artwork!

Mildred is such a sweet character and to someone who was/still is tripping over her undone shoelaces, she is the perfect hero - she's not glamorous, she's not perfect, she's just a normal girl with witchy powers.

The story itself is so in-depth with threads running throughout that you don't quite find until you have read it with either an older eye or after a couple of read-throughs. It never gets boring and on my trip down memory lane I found that I couldn't put it down.

As a child the teachers are truly terrifying. As an adult however you can really empathise with them; the withering glances, the sarcasm, all things we adults can relate to (or maybe that's just me).

Wonderfully written by a very talented author. If you have the extra money it is definitely worth buying the colour 40th anniversary edition to go with your collection!
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on 25 June 2000
I thought this book was very funny. Mildred Hubble gets everything wrong and she threatens to turn her enemy in to a frog. But like all her other spells, she gets it wrong - with funny results! I am 7 years old and am looking forward to reading the next book about the worst witch.
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on 2 December 2011
This book proberbly seems old fashioned to todays children with pointy hats,broomsticks and black cats but i think it's traditional way of seeing witches.Todays'witches are always portrayed as beutiful and slim like in Secret Circle or Vampire Diaries and there's no fun in the stories just bloodshed aand sex.What i like about The Worst Witch is that it funny and can give children an innocent read while giving their immaginations a work out.I bought it for my 8 yr old niece who couldn't put it down once she read that" Mildred Hubble was one of those people who always seemed to be in trouble.She didn't mean exactly to break rules and annoy the teachers but things just seemed to happen whenever she was around".When she finished it she was full of questions about real witches,who were they?,where did they live?I think children grow up to quickly these days with tv and video games and i think if they're given a book like this every now and then it could keep their brains working while giving them a sense of adventure.
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on 26 February 2010
The Worst Witch is writen by Jill Murphy she is not that famous it is my favourite Worst Witch book.

A girl called Mildred can't walk from one end off the coridor to the other with out getting told of.She lives in Miss Cacles Acadamy,she has a best freind called Maud and she can't even ride a broomstick because her cat Tabby can't stay on her broomstick.

I liked the bit when Mildred turned the group of witches into snails because first she got the spell wrong and she turned them into dogs.

I recomend this book to children between year 2 and year 4.I would give this book 10 out of 10 because I love this book very much.
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on 12 May 2012
There has been a sudden emergence of all things paranormal and unless you have been living under a big rock you will have noticed that the younger generation are obsessed with witches, vampires, werewolves and things that go bump in the night. The Worst Witch is almost a classic children's story and has been popular for years. In my opinion it stands up very easily against it's modern counterparts and has a timeless nature. I adore the way this book merges comedy and the innocence of childhood with the scary atmosphere of witches making it a firm favourite with children and adults alike.
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on 5 September 2014
This review is specifically for the Colour Gift Edition.

I won't go into the (fantastic) story, because presumably most people buying this edition are already familiar with The Worst Witch and want to treasure the anniversary. Instead I'll go into what makes this so wonderfully special (and it is!).

First of all, it's been published to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of The Worst Witch, so it's a lovely hardback book that's nice and solid to hold. It's larger sized than the paperbacks (I'd say something like a quarter to a third bigger? Apologies for the loose approximation there), and printed in full-colour on great quality white thick paper, rather than the course thin yellowed paper that paperbacks are (understandably) printed on.

When I pre-ordered the book (a long time ago now), the paragraph describing it stated that only six illustrations were in full-colour. I can see that description has been changed now to state the entire book is in full-colour, which is good because I can confirm this is true. Every illustration from the original has been updated and wonderfully rendered in coloured pencils - along with brand new illustrations - and really this feels like the DEFINITIVE version of the Worst Witch. Whilst I've always loved the original black and white illustrations, the atmosphere that the coloured illustrations add can't be glossed over - suddenly Mildred's world feels a whole lot more real.

As I stated earlier, the paper is a gorgeous thick white glossy print stock, which means you don't get that issue of the other sides of pages showing through (admittedly that's a pet peeve of mine when reading, it's very distracting), and also means that the illustrations themselves really get to pop. It comes with a lovely red page-keeping ribbon - red like Mildred's school sash!

I'm not sure how well the book will stand up to repeated handling mind you. Having worked with many paper stocks before, and also owning a good collection of lovely printed artbooks and colour illustrated novels, I'm very very aware with how carefully glossy paper stock needs to be looked after. Even keeping your hands squeaky clean, glossy books will tend to pick up your natural skin oils anyway and end up with fingerprints all over them. They won't remain in any perfect state. This isn't an issue to me personally - I'm a collector in a sense, but a collector of things I enjoy, and I'll keep reading through my books over and over for probably however long my life lasts no matter how many fingerprints they get on them. ;) However, depending on your reasons for picking up this book, it may be an issue to you. You'll want to be pretty careful with it if you're trying to keep it in perfect condition, and if you have younger children reading it, you may need to encourage them to be just a little bit more careful with it than usual - just to be sure it lasts.

This book was already great, but the colour illustrations really elevate it. I only regret that it's unlikely the other books will receive this treatment, because now I've experienced the original this way I very much want the other six books in colour (especially the most recent two, which were amazing). I think the only nitpick that I could possibly come up with is that I wish the front cover had been given the full-page illustration treatment to match the atmosphere of the interior? But I recognise that there's a branding conflict there, and there's an established style for Worst Witch covers.

All I can really say is; if you're a fan of The Worst Witch, THIS is the book to get!

So, to sum up:

Positives:
- I'd say confidently that this really is the definitive edition of the original text. The illustrations are gorgeous in full-colour, and though there was nothing at all wrong with the black and white ones, these ones really do take the book to 'the next level' as it were - they flesh out the atmosphere greatly, and lend a depth that black and white can only hint at.
- The printing quality is fantastic, and in general it has a great feel as a finished product. The ribbon bookmark, the gold foil printing on the dust-jacket, the larger size and of course the beautifully printed pages themselves really make it feel like something to treasure.

Negatives:
- This isn't really a negative, but more of a minor concern: because of the paper stock, if you want the book to stay in good condition, you'll need to be more careful with it than usual. This might be an issue to some people/children, because it lends itself much less to casual reading than the paperback - I recommend having a copy of the paperback handy too for that reason.
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