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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The worst witch
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.
Published on 17 Sept. 2003 by Fina Martinez

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good, a nice intro to the series
A nice intro to the series. Personally, though, this book is fairly disappointing, with enjoyable pictures but not enough text to the story. Very short, but fairly enjoyable. Sorry, Jill, but things only get exciting in the other books. Nice, though.
Published on 29 Dec. 2005 by Conor Byrne


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The worst witch, 17 Sept. 2003
By 
Fina Martinez (Bottesford, Leicestershire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 21 Sept. 2002
By 
Claire Cottrill "Clairei" (Channel Islands, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect to encourage new readers!, 19 Nov. 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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars still as good as when I was a child, 20 Feb. 2005
By 
A. K. Davis "akg" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The proto-Harry Potter?, 4 July 2004
By A Customer
'The Worst Witch' series was a favourite of mine as a child - a sort of proto-Harry Potter for kids in the early 80's, albeit aimed at a slightly younger age group. As a fan of the Potter books, I was curious to know whether the HP phenomenon had led to a resurgence of interest in the adventures of Mildred and co. I was so certain that the books would be out of print by now, so to rediscover them all over again was a joy. After re-reading the Worst Witch, I was pleased to see that it has stood the test of time. Recommended for younger readers of the Harry Potter series and children of all ages (including 30-somethings!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pre-Hogwarts Adventure, 20 Jan. 2013
By 
Rachel Holton (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
First of all, this is one of the books I read as a child which has really stuck in my mind over the years. I am a huge fan of the fantasy genre and this magical tale of the accident-prone Mildred Hubble was an introduction of sorts for me.
This would be a great read for children who are too young to read the Harry Potter series as The Worst Witch with it's more whimsical tone doesn't share the darker themes of the Potter books.
Nevertheless this is a great pre-Potter read, Jill Murphy also combines magic with the old boarding school genre which I absolutely love.
The main character Mildred is the perfect hero for children, always getting into mischief and trying to keep up with the resident 'goody-goody'. The magical element is also great, there's potions classes and broomstick flying and much more in this fun read.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Worst Witch made me laugh a lot!, 25 Jun. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Worst Witch (Paperback)
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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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars year 3 book review, 26 Feb. 2010
By 
This review is from: The Worst Witch (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the DEFINITIVE version of The Worst Witch, 5 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Haphazard Young Witch Girl Saves School, 10 Dec. 2013
By 
Arachne202 - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Worst Witch (Paperback)
I was very into stories about schools for little witches as a child, and there were a lot of them then. ("Spell Me A Witch" by Barbara Willard, "The Little Broomstick" by Mary Stewart, "The Witch Family" by Eleanor Estes, and a boy wizard appears in "Which Witch?" by Eva Ibbotson.)

But I was especially fond of "The Worst Witch", partly because the pen-and-ink illustrations on almost every page are full of such personality - the tabby kitten splayed out on the end of the broomstick with its eyes closed, hanging on for dear life, still cracks me up - and partly because, unlike in the other writers' stories, the heroine Mildred is not clever or talented or a "chosen one" or brilliant at magic. She's actually very bad at magic, and leaves well-meaning havoc in her wake everywhere she goes. Yet generally, in every adventure including this one (first in the series), she ends up performing some heroic deed that helps other people.

I have just read it out at bedtime to my six-year-old daughter, who is moving into 7+ years chapter books for her own reading. She was fascinated with the idea of boarding school, which she has never heard of before, and she loved the idea of children being able to turn each other into pigs and frogs..... wishful thinking on her part, I'm assuming. So I shall be getting the rest of the series.
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